I grew up in a farming and hunting community in the south. During those days deer hunting was more of a necessity for food than anything else although it did offer much enjoyment. Every year after the field work was completed, the anticipation turned towards the upcoming deer season. Groups of adult hunters would gather together at an old cabin to begin hunting preparations. Along with the adults were also children.
The kids were always given an active part in helping out with a variety of duties. These may be cleaning the cabin, stacking fire wood, trimming out driving or shooting lanes, and stand placements. In my opinion, these activities helped build character, helped with socialization skills, and created many life long bonds with others.
Once the actual deer season arrived, the kids were allowed to participate in the hunts. Although not all were old enough to use a gun, they still were able to find enjoyment waiting on stands hoping to see a deer. There was also the chance that the child could witness a deer harvest. This gave the kids something special to look forward to.
The kids were taught to be safety minded and ethical hunters. As they grew older, and accustomed to shooting, they were allowed to carry their own gun. This offered the kids the first chance at harvesting a deer for themselves.
As one of those kids, I can recall many years of enjoyment that has continued on into adulthood. Today, I have children of my own and have given them similar opportunities to learn about and experience wonderful moments in the deer woods.
For me, seeing their smiling faces as they make their way along a trail towards a stand is what life’s all about. Each year as they have grown older only brings more joy and happiness for us all.
Until next time, be safe, good luck, and enjoy your next hunting experience with a child.
The deer season is upon us and it is time to get back into the outdoors. As a life long hunter, deer hunting is by far my favorite. I wait patiently all year until opening day just so I can see the sun rise on a new season.
I know that, at least for a short while, all the normal stresses of every day life will disappear. For me it is not about harvesting an animal, but rather the challenge and enjoyment of matching wits with one of natures finest creatures.
I use this time of the year to rejuvenate myself. In a way, deer hunting brings me back on track. It clears my mind of the many negative events that go on each day.
We live in a time of high speed every thing. It is very easy to get caught up in life and forget about the things that really make us happy. We are constantly under pressure for one reason or another.
Deer hunting allows me to leave behind these pressures. It gives me the opportunity to enjoy life as it was meant to be, just the simple side.
I often take my kids hunting each year. Seeing their smiling faces as they make their way through the woods to our blind is priceless. Watching their excitement when deer approach is truly an unforgettable experience.
The reality is that deer hunting can and does offer quality time and life experiences for all who give it a chance. So clear your mind and have fun.
Good luck, be safe, and enjoy your next hunting experience.
We decided to give it a go as it was calm at this point in time. So off to our deer hunting land we went. As we arrived before light, we made our way to our stand locations. My brother was hunting about two hundred yards from me.
At daybreak, or at least official hunting time, I noticed that the sky was black with clouds and that the wind had started picking up. I decided to climb down from the stand for safety reasons and sat down near an old blow down tree. The winds became stronger and stronger. Every thing in the woods seemed to be moving.
Sure enough, just as the weatherman had predicted, the wind was so strong, I could barely keep myself still. As hearing anything moving was out of the question, I kept my eyes looking from side to side. Suddenly, as if by magic, I saw a doe standing in front of me about twenty yards away. The deer was looking directly at me. Then she turned and walked slowly away.
About two minutes later, the deer returned and stopped broad side in front of me. I decided to take the shot. The deer ran about ten feet and fell. I walked over and just as I started to field dress the deer, I felt a rain drop. Then the rain started falling a little faster.
Upon completing the field dressing, I dragged the deer the three hundred yards to the truck. I put the doe inside the truck bed and jumped inside the cab. Just as I closed the truck door, the bottom fell out of the sky and it was raining harder than I had seen in a long time.
About twenty minutes later, my brother came running up and jumped inside. He was soaked from head to toe. I had to laugh at him. I then asked if he had seen anything and he gave me an evil look. I then smiled and pointed to the back of the truck. Smoke poled. He hadn’t heard the shot due to the wind.
That afternoon, my brother and I arrived at the deer stands in hopes of harvesting a few does. As the evening set in, we began hearing a deer walking from the woods towards the bean field. The deer walked out in between us just as predicted.
As I watched the deer in the field, I anticipated a shot from my brothers bow at any moment. And as if on cue, I heard the thump of the compound bow. I then watched and heard the arrow fly just over the top of the deers back. Tink, tink, tink, was the sound of the arrow bouncing off the beans.
A smile came across my face as I had just watched my brother miss. The deer however, simply took a few steps and went back to feeding. About a minute later, I again heard the thump of the bow. I watched as the second arrow flew over the top of the deers back. Down through the beans the arrow went. The deer looked around and went back to feeding.
Now I’m sitting in the tree doing all I can to keep from laughing out loud. About another minute goes by and sure enough, I hear the bow thump again. And again the arrow goes over the back of the deer.
The deer finally decides that something wasn’t right and moves away from my brothers shooting hole. I now have tears coming out from laughing so hard.
The deer then makes a turn and starts walking towards me. And wouldn’t you know it, the deer heads straight towards my shooting lane.
As I drew my bow back, I have to admit there was a little bit of a feeling of pressure on me. I took my time, breathed, aimed, and released the arrow. You already know what happened. Down through the beans the arrow went just over top of the deer. That’s four misses if you are keeping track.
The deer took a couple steps never even raising its head. I decided to try one more shot. This time the shot was perfect and the harvest was successful.
My brother and I both got a good laugh out of the experience and it remains as a fond memory.
As the afternoon went by, I found myself walking an old cut-over path. I stopped on the edge of a hardwoods and the cut-over ground. As I was looking around, I heard a deer walking in the hardwoods. The deer was approaching the cut-over.
To my surprise, I watched as a nice eight pointer walked into the cut-over about seventy yards out. The buck turned slightly in my direction and started quartering towards me.
As the buck came within forty five yards of me, he turned and started walking straight across in front of me. He never got any closer and I watched in amazement as the deer crossed and went out of sight. Little did I know at the time but we would meet again many times.
Over the next three years, I would come in contact with and watch as the deer grew into a nice trophy buck. I hunted the buck on numerous occasions. It got to be somewhat of a master chess game between us. I would make my move and then he would counter move. Then he would make his move and I would counter move him.
I would take several nice bucks on the farm during this time but always enjoyed hunting the original big boy. Each hunting season would be filled with great memories of the elusive buck. There would be many occasions in which the buck was in bow range but the shot was never clear enough to take.
I would set up and watch as the buck graced me with his presence. I gained a lot of respect for this deer. I never hunted the buck with a gun because I felt that the reward if received would be greater with the bow.
Sadly, just prior to the fourth season of hunting this buck, I discovered his recently deceased body while out scouting. I felt a big loss as my challenging opponent was gone. There were no signs of any type of harm to the buck. It appeared that he went to sleep and never woke up.
The deer was aged by a local wildlife biologist at being about six years old. He never grew more than eight points but was one of the thickest antlered deer that I had ever seen. I had the rack placed on a plaque in his memory.
One of the ladder stands is only about five minutes from where I park my vehicle on an old tractor path. The stand over looks a small hardwoods cut over. I generally use the stand for rifle hunting. The stand is strapped to an oak tree nestled in a quarter acre patch of pines. Inside those pines is an old cemetery lot that dates back to the eighteen hundreds. For this reason the stand is known as the graveyard stand.
One day during the early part of bow season while at work, I had a strong feeling that I needed to be hunting that afternoon. So I decided that I would go straight from work. I always keep my hunting gear in my truck for just such an occasion.
I arrived at my property at 4:00pm, slipped my coveralls on, sprayed myself with cover scent, took my bow and ran up the tractor path to the graveyard stand. I arrived at the stand at 4:06pm. I pulled my bow up the tree, put my release on and nocked an arrow.
As I stood there looking across the cut over, I caught movement about seventy five yards out. I looked through my binoculars and found a beautiful eight pointer walking in my direction. The buck was at a steady walk and closing fast as if he had some where to be.
I slipped my binoculars inside my coveralls and placed my release on the bow string. The deer walked all the way up to a ditch about thirty five yards out and stopped. The deer looked around momentarily and then jumped the ditch. The deer then walked within ten yards directly facing me. The deer then turned and started walking to my right giving me a perfect quartering away shot.
I released the arrow and watched as the arrow made a perfect shot on the buck, entering on his right side, through both lungs and heart, and exiting on the left side. The buck followed a path about thirty yards and fell. The time was 4:20pm. The total time in the woods was twenty minutes. Lesson learned, always follow your instincts.