I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many bucks over the years. Their pictures take up space on my phone and cover the walls in my office. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few them. Every detail of our relationship is easily recalled in my mind at a moment’s notice. I know I’m not alone here. Why is that? Remembering the items my wife told me to pick up at the grocery store only minutes before is next to impossible. But that big buck I saw three days after the season ended back in 2001 has stayed with me to this date.
There was a time in my life when I swore I’d never have to dust off my golf clubs each time I used them, miss a Sunday afternoon nap, or scout for deer in the dark. And then the other day I realized I’d done all three in the past week!
Scouting for deer in the dark, you ask? Yup. I’ve done it. Not very effectively, mind you, but I’ve done it. Last Thursday I rolled out of bed nice and early to check my trail cameras before work. Unfortunately, work starts at 7, so that meant I had to check them in the dark. Ironically, that’s exactly how I set them up – in the dark under the light up my headlamp. Knee deep into a deer season this approach can work reasonably well after you’ve had a month or two to orient yourself to the local deer patterns. But it doesn’t work nearly as well fresh off a summer of NOT being in the woods at all.
For Immediate Release: April 7, 2017
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Windsor County, VT – Last Friday, local hunter, Tim Biebel, went 0 for 6 while squirrel hunting with his son, Sam. Biebel blames his equipment for the poor performance. Just before the hunt he had chosen to swap his trusty single shot .410 shotgun for a Gamo “Hunter Sport” pellet gun.
Some have suggested the shooter is the one to blame, but Biebel disagrees.
Another summer has come and gone and with it the satisfaction of checking off some summer goals and the disappointment of not checking off some others. My summer was as busy as I can ever recall. Work has sucked up a lot of my time, eleven-month-old Oliver has put a serious dent in my blog writing time, and house projects I’ve been putting off for years and years took up what was left. We did manage to slip in a family vacation, so I don’t have any complaints there. As far as my time in the woods goes, I haven’t set foot in it since I shot my second turkey at the end of May. It’s depressing to think about.
Just what is the biggest threat that hunting faces today? Is it shrinking participation numbers or accessible land to hunt? Maybe it’s anti-hunters? It must be Social Media, right? Is it Chronic Wasting Disease? I know, it’s climate change! Maybe it’s a combination of many different things, or maybe it all funnels back to one main reason.