Monday, January 11, 2010

On the eve of the 2009 firearms season and as was their nature the hunters in our family deer camp were talking around the campfire. Their normally jolly mood was slightly tempered, however, and I knew why. A lack of deer had subdued our normally high expectations.

Then, at a quiet moment, “Guys, this year if you have a choice, shoot the bucks and let the does walk” spilled out of my mouth. Although I was saying what everyone was thinking, I still cannot believe I said it. We have always let small bucks walk so this was quality deer management in reverse. It was like reliving the hunts of the sixties and early seventies when deer were scarce. I could swear it was my father speaking, not me.

We did not easily arrive at this decision. It came about after many years of watching the deer herd intentionally depleted (reason for this is a future article). With deer numbers lower than ever, it made sense to hunt the way our mentors had. Our father told us that shooting a buck kills one deer but shooting a doe kills two, three or four. “Quantity” deer management was going to be implemented. We were going back to the way we first hunted to improve our future hunts.

Read Back to the Future by Ike Isackson


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