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Cora's Cross“Do you ever think?”

My wife asks me that question quite often, so much so that I’m beginning to wonder why she asks me so much. That may qualify as thinking but I’m not sure. The truth is, I do think about things but usually for only five minutes at a time, unless of course it’s about something that’s not important. For instance, the other day I had a conversation with I guy I hadn’t seen in a while. I asked him how he’d been and he proceeded to inform me that he’d been sick.

“Probably just the thing that’s been going around.” He said.

That made me think…why don’t good things go around? Have you ever heard someone say that after shooting a big buck?

“Shot this big 8 point this morning. 8 points have been going around lately.” ...continue reading

2015 Deer MeetingFor what it’s worth I decided to summarize my thoughts after attending the Public Deer hearing in Brattleboro, VT last night. Much to my surprise there were no deer at the meeting, just hunters who wanted to debate different ways to kill them. Who named it Public Deer hearing? Talk about false advertising. Thankfully I’m easy going and found the debate interesting, even if it was between biologists and hunters instead of a herd of deer.

The format for the evening was the same as last year. The meeting started off with a review of the moose and deer harvest reports followed by a short question time for people who needed clarification on some aspect of the reports. Next, a presentation was given on the proposed rule changes, followed again by questions for those who needed clarification. Then we broke into small groups to give our input on the proposed rule changes to the coming season. We were given 45 minutes for this and at the end of that time a group member summarized the group’s thoughts in front of the crowd and turned in the comment sheet all the thoughts were recorded on. Finally, the meeting closed with time for those in attendance to have the floor to themselves to speak their mind for two minutes if they so desired. Some rambled on for the longest two minutes I've ever experienced. ...continue reading

IMG_0810Like most young hunters in Vermont I was taught to shoot the first legal deer I saw. Three inches of antler on one side was all that was needed to have the green light to pull the trigger. It was fun.

I spent most of my childhood approaching deer season with this mentality. Each season I entered the woods I planned on shooting the first buck I saw. My view of deer season was similar to my view of deep sea fishing shoulder to shoulder with 40 people crammed into a 40’ boat. All the lines are dropped within a 400’ square foot area 300’ down on the ocean floor. Someone always gets lucky and pulls up a big one, most catch something of average size, and some go home empty handed. Deer hunting in Vermont was no different. A few people shot big ones, some shot spikes and four points, and most went home empty handed. It came down to the luck of the draw. Whoever was in the right place at the right time was the lucky one and shooting a big buck was like hitting the jackpot in a lottery that had low odds of winning. It was fun. ...continue reading

Deer dragThere are few things in life that can insert turmoil into your relationship with your spouse like calling to inform her that you just shot a deer and you’ll be home late. I’ve been there. I have a knack for shooting deer at a bad time – either she isn’t feeling well or our young son won’t sleep. Needless to say, the last thing that sweet voice on the other end of the phone wants to hear is my voice recounting the excitement of the hunt. I guess from her perspective it makes sense, but from my viewpoint there is no sense in getting her upset because there is work to be done. ...continue reading

Big BuckLately I’ve read (and taken part in) a lot of jabbering about implementing a 3 point antler restriction (AR) in my home state of Vermont. Proponents of an increase from the current 2 pt AR bring many solid arguments to the table while opponents bring their own valid reasons. I fall somewhere in the middle of the argument. One thing I know is that, Lord willing, I’ll be hunting this fall and quite frankly, I could care less what defines a legal buck and what doesn’t. If it has to have at least two points on a side, fine.  At least three points? That’s OK too; I’ll look for one that meets the requirement and enjoy the hunt along the way. But one thing is for sure, I get a little tired of the proponents of the increase not owning up to the real reason they want it and instead hide behind “feel good” reasons for their arguments.  Here are a few of the reasons and my interpretation of them.

1. A 3 pt AR will create a healthier herd. My reasons for not trusting this argument are that the data collected by biologists on youth weekend and the first weekend of rifle season indicate that the herd is healthy already. On average, recorded deer weights are up over the last decade and deer numbers have rebounded quickly after harsh winters. If someone who uses this argument would define what they mean by a “healthier herd” perhaps I would have an easier time following their reasoning. Until then, I’ll read through the lines and just assume this argument is used because they really want BIGGER BUCKS. ...continue reading