Well, another fall hunting season is not far in the future and the stores around us are gearing up with all the latest gizmos, cameras, trail timers, Buck Lures and cover scents. Millions of dollars will be spent by hunters trying to find that "edge" over the infamous White-tailed deer. Would our native American ancestors have a ball watching this or what?
I have looked on into the Cell Phones of many of my friends and acquaintences as they show me video footage of huge racked Stags that make there way in front of the camera lense under the cover of darkness the night before. I scratch my head wondering how this helps the hunter in the daylight ours in any way but to get their blood pumping at the knowledge that this deer is actually in the area of their favorite hunting spots. I could have known this by seeing the deer's hoof print and remained a few hundred dollars richer. Any the matter, I do find the videos interesting.
As a ten year old boy, 40 years ago I followed my father and grandfather into the woods of Hubbardton, Orwell, Sudbury, and several other towns here in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. I watched what they did and absorbed every lesson they taught me from studying the tracks of a deer to what they were eating, where they "rubbed" "scraped" and drank over the past couple of days. I learned to field dress the deer, and cut it into the most tender of steaks. Very little of our venison was ever used for "burger". At the age of 14 I took my first deer with a .22 Hollow Point, dropping the animal where it stood. Since then I have had success with a 32-20 winchester, a .44 magnum carbine, a .32 special, 7mm remington magum, and .308 Savage. Many deer have visited my freezers over the years from a wide variety of rifles and bows and I pride myself in my dedication of making the kill clean and the shot as precise as possible. If I'm not sure, I don't shoot. There are few hunters that would make a headshot on what might be considered a trophy by many, but if it would be my most lethal shot, I'll take it. I've never eaten an antler yet.
I hope hunters this fall will think safety before heading into the woods. each year people are shot and hunters are given a bad name simply because of carelessness. Never look at another hunter in the distance through your rifle scope... please carry binoculars. Be sure of your shot before squeezing the trigger. Don't just shoot at brown in "hopes" that you may hit a kill spot. If you are hunting with a bow, please practice, practice, practice. Place your stand where your shots will be 35 yards or less. I don't care how good your bow is and how your "poundage" is set. You're not Robin-hood. A good hunter knows how to get that 20 to 30 yard opportunity and has the patience to wait until he can. My last archery deer was a 4 pointer at 9 yards.
Have fun putting meat in your freezer but be safe and respect nature. If you respect nature it will respect you. Good luck to all my fellow hunters. Remember, whatever "edge" you think works best for you isn't necessarily wrong, but nothing beats patience, scouting, and proper preparation.