Whitetail Deer: A Blue-collar animal
Whitetail deer are the most commonly hunted big game animal in North America. Although whitetails are pursued in the United States predominantly by rural, white males; currently, it is women that constitute the fastest growing segment of the hunting fraternity. Hunting is not just a recreational pursuit; it remains a complex cultural phenomenon closely linked to our naturalistic values, hunters' identities, and the American family. Hunters generally have strong relationships with their fathers or father figures, who were responsible for introducing the majority of hunters to the sport. The thrill of the hunt
Deer hunting presents a most intriguing paradox. It is a pursuit that requires unerring patience, the ability to remain silent, still and highly attentive for long intervals, commonly while suffering through weather thats often cold and miserable. There are the guns, of course, combined with instantaneous decision-making. It is often a fraction of a second between the instant the prey bursts from cover and the moment that the hunter has missed his chance. The shooter must also take into account the proximity of other hunters, who are either after the same prey or helping herd it in the shooter's direction. This process of action, reaction and instant decision must be accomplished after long silent hours of concentration while shivering in the dark or immediately after sweating through a stiff climb up the steep, foliage entangled, crest of a hill. Often, the difference between a successful hunt and a long, lingering, If only! is the ability to maintain the calm concentration that is necessary to recognize a deer and combine it with an instant judgment that the target has antlers. Finally, while controlling breathing, emotions and the instant flood of adrenaline, a hunter must make a quick, precise shot in less time than it takes to read this sentence. For many enthusiasts, the process is more important than the take, as hunting success is not gauged exclusively on a blood-trail. Success comes from the experience. It is about the preparation, the time spent on the trail with old companions and those precious few seconds that are replayed over and over again in ones mind at the end of the season. Hunt safe and be prepared
As cooler weather finally sets in and clocks are set back; it becomes imperative that outdoor travelers are properly prepared for outdoor journeys. Hunters, as a user group, should be particularly careful, since they venture off marked trails in remote areas more than any other group. During last years hunting season, on the October 31\November 1 weekend, over 60 hunters were trapped in the Moose River Plains when two feet of wet snow closed all the roads. The sole fatality was the result of a heart attack. Before departing on any outdoor adventure, check the local weather forecast and be certain to leave information with a responsible individual on where you are going, your expected route of travel and the time you intend to return. Be certain to include a deadline to notify authorities if you dont return. Hunt safe, hunt hard and let common sense prevail. Prepare yourself physically and carry appropriate equipment. Darkness comes early, a flashlight is essential. If lost, keep calm, dry, warm and stay put. Common Camp Complaints
Ive often been asked to address common hunter complaints about fellow hunters. Drawn from detailing situations that frustrate hunters, Ive assembled a summary of some of the most common grievances as they have been described to me. Hunting camp has been described as A place where you can swear, spit, burp, fart and scratch your butt in public and nobody cares. While this is probably true, in the process of being holed up in a small and sometimes smelly cabin for days on end, a persons tolerance can be tested. So, if you recognize your bad habits here, dont blame me, for if the boot fits..... 1. The Camp Slob: His boots stink so bad they have to be left outside. Eggs, chew and other food stuff is stuck in his beard for days and he washes dishes about as often as his clothes. He thinks scent free means hes got no pennies in his pocket. 2. The Trespassing Joy Rider: Hes always got to cross the line, as if deer know property boundaries. Spends more time riding his wheeler up and down the roads than hunting and ends up ruining everybody else's hunt in the process. He only uses doe urine and other scents to mask the overpowering smell of exhaust. 3. The Barker: On drives, he barks like a dog with every step and wants others to respond so that he knows where they are because he usually has no idea where the hell he is. Also known as the whistler in the woods, hes always looking for directions back to camp. 4. The Deadeye: Sighting in is one thing, but constant shooting in camp is unnecessary and obnoxious. Sight your gun before you get to camp since others are there to hunt. Show some consideration for fellow hunters and other camps. 5. The Cheapskate: Doesnt want to pay dues until threatened with expulsion and never shows up for work days. He brings only enough food for himself but feels free to help himself to anybody elses. Beer, whiskey, batteries, ammo and other necessary items are always conveniently forgotten or left on the shelf at home, so he asks, Can I borrow yours? 6. The Permanent Watcher: Hes never done a drive in his life and is scared of swamps, open hardwoods or any other place thats off the main trail to camp. Often complains that the drive was either too fast, too slow or didnt move any deer, even when running tracks are within sight of his watch. Must have winded me, hell say. Only takes deer that commit suicide, but usually tells everybody how to hunt. 7. The Gear Head: Hes known on a first name basis at Cabelas, Gander Mountain and Dicks Sporting Goods and owns the latest, most sophisticated, most expensive gear in camp. Dressed in high tech fashion down to his underwear; he is equipped with every electronic device known to man. He packs the most potent weapon this side of Dick Cheneys quail gun and his annual purchases can make or break a manufacturers bottom-line. But, he rarely ventures beyond sight of camp for fear batteries will go dead and he will likewise. 8. The Camp Idiot: He is responsible for broken ax handles and lantern mantles, spilled coffee, burnt toast and runny eggs, but insists on being the camp cook. Hes been known to buy a box of .30-.30 shells for his .30-06, generally brings propane cylinders for the white gas stove and drives his truck all the way into camp on an empty tank.