A Letter to Vermont Deer Hunters

A Letter To Vermont Deer Hunters

Deer Vermont Hunters,

It is the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? This Saturday marks the day that you and I have been anticipating since the sunset at the end of last season. Opening day of rifle season is upon us!

For the majority of you, rifle season is the “big dance.” Before dawn you’ll be scurrying about gathering last minute items for a day in the woods or sitting down to a hunter’s breakfast with your hunting buddies. Maybe you are leaving work early Friday afternoon to head to camp for the season. If so, I bet the excitement of the weeks ahead is already dominating your thoughts and probably has been for some time. As hunters, this is what we wait for all year.

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4PT16.12 – It’s a Matter of Time

4PT16.12 – It’s A Matter Of Time

Someday, I am going to devote an entire article on the most important ingredient required for a successful hunt. The ingredient? Time.

I can’t remember a year when I have hunted over such an active scrape line, complete with fresh rubs and extending over 650 yards. It felt like I was finding fresh sign each time I hunted it. As near as I can tell, the scrape line leads to his bedding area and he checks them during the night. This works out well for him but not for me. Big bucks can be very frustrating.

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4PT16.8 – Thoughts on Shooting Young Deer

4PT16.8 – Thoughts On Shooting Young Deer

Other than a rather intense encounter with a bear a mere twelve feet away from Sam and I on Friday night, the weekend was pretty slow in the woods. It was Sam’s first time out “deer hunting” with me and he mentioned afterward that he’d rather not bear hunt again until next year when he’s six. I think we’ll stick to squirrel hunting for the time being.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. You know what really gets me irritated? I can’t stand it when hunters saddle up their high horse and degrade others for shooting a deer they have deemed to be too small. It’s one thing to give someone a hard time for shooting a deer that is really small, maybe even a little good hearted public shaming is called for, but anything further than that is completely unnecessary.

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4PT16.7 – A Feathered Foe and Whitetail Doe

4PT16.7 – A Feathered Foe And Whitetail Doe

I finally figured out what it is about turkeys that drives me nuts. It’s the way they look at you out of the side of their head – beaks pointing one way, eyeballs another. Woodchucks do the same thing. They appear to be looking one way, but you know they are actually looking at you. It’s aggravating.

Tuesday I found myself hunting an old reliable property for the first time this year. As I was getting dressed beside the truck I heard walking noises in the leaves. The newly fresh fallen leaves made for loud, crunchy walking. I love that sound. I slowly turned around and saw a turkey head bopping through the woods. Decision time. Am I on a deer hunt or a turkey hunt?

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