Theres something about a deer

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by kyhunter99, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. kyhunter99

    kyhunter99 12 pointer

    Dec 21, 2014
    Probably in the kitchen Ky
    I think the first time I saw a deer I was on a schoolbus when I was maybe 8 or 9.
    They were spooked and bounding away from the road and I shouted "DEER DEER! WHITETAILED DEER!"
    I was a deer nerd born from that moment forward. I asked for a deer call for christmas, bought a rattle bag and doe can with money made from chores. I dreamed of getting to hunt.
    I bought a popup blind when I was 14, my dad got me camo at some point which i still use.
    I remember the first deer i saw on my first scout. This was long before i was allowed to hunt.
    I would sit and see things if i was lucky.. I bought a cheap rifle when i turned 18 and hit the woods that year. Never saw a thing.
    About 4 years later i had the opportunity to hunt a nice farm, and my friend who set me up with the farm encouraged me to pass on a long tined 5pt that strolled out easily to corn. I passed as he insisted. And the rest of the 2 weeks i spent on that farm i never saw a thing in range except a doe on the last evening that busted me. I hunted hard and ate tag soup.
    That next year i took a buck, my very first deer. A nice 10pt with symmetrical split brows.
    I think 14 years after I saw those deer on a bus ride.
    I met my hunting mentor before those two seasons on a farm, and he is an aged man but a lifelong sportsman, anything you can do outdoors he has done. And has watched the deer come to the county and establish themselves and hunted them when the season opened.
    He has been a diehard deerhunter since the beginning. And he will never quit..
    He said something to me one day that I will never forget and that was

    There is nothing pretty about a dead deer.

    And its true. They can be impressive for whatever they were, however big or freakish or brutish. But a buck in full rut swollen and mean, at the edge of a field scouting keenly for a doe, a big doe wandering the woods and grazing with her fawns, an ignorant spike aimlessly walking the woods trying to figure it all out and not quite figuring YOU out before confusedly toddling off. How they appear out of thin air, wander past without making a sound. Their movement, their pauses, the stomps and struts.
    There is just something about them that to me makes them like no other animal in the woods.
    They are the spirit of the forest.
    And i go to the woods, and i admire it, its a beautiful thing. But its only part of why im there, and the other part is what sends a bullet downrange and destroys it.
    It breaks the silence, orphans the fawns, runs blood across the leaves grass and trees. And at the end of the trail is the shell of that animals spirit. And i do what hunters do, i cut it apart. Later I pull the hide off and take what I need from it, and the rest goes back to the woods to feed whatever needs the rest. That beautiful animal all turned into a pile of rot and plastic packages.
    But it feeds me, and my family. It reduces demand on other animals in commercial operations. It provides. But its not beautiful.
    Im not sure I can ever get the two sides of me to understand eachother. Its like admiring art and destroying it to make a fire. I think many hunters may know what i am talking about. And hunting to me is a funny dance, the whole picture doesnt make much sense.
    The deer to me is the spirit of the woods, and after I pull up the gun it just becomes the spirit of survival. And its a good thing, its cause for celebrating, but it isnt beautiful.
    rlb165, davers, wildcatfan and 14 others like this.
  2. CRFmxracer

    CRFmxracer 10 pointer

    Sep 9, 2010
    louisville kentucky
  3. rockhousehunter

    rockhousehunter 10 pointer

    Oct 18, 2013
    West Liberty, Ky
    I'm not sure death is ever "beautiful". However the death of a deer is much more beautiful from a hunter than the hands of various aspects of mother nature, its a necessary process that we all will go through. The difference is, unlike us, I'll eat their tenderloins, make a rug out of their hide, a gun mount from their hooves, then hang their head on the wall. To me, those parts are pretty beautiful.
  4. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    If you are a reader grab a copy of David Petersen’s book “Heartsblood”. He also is the editor of another book called “A Hunter’s Heart: Honest Essays on Bloodsport.”

    I don’t agree with him on everything especially his disdain for hound hunting, but he’s a good writer and has a lot to offer the hunting community.

    He was also instrumental in getting the Colorado chapter of BHA started.
    kyhunter99 likes this.
  5. Mt Pokt

    Mt Pokt 6 pointer

    Nov 8, 2018
    Campbell County
    Interesting perspective. One I share as well.

    I don't know everyone's disposition, nor does it matter. I have to hunt! It's not because I rely on hunting to fill my freezer every year. My family isn't going to starve or suffer if I don't put deer in the freezer. Truth be told, I prefer cow to deer any day of the week.

    But nothing compares to being in the woods and taking in the game. City folk get excited about squirrels. They have no idea!

    "I'm in my blind enjoying the day, watching deer, squirrels, turkey, and what not. Peace and tranquility... why would I want to ruin the perfect day by shooting a deer?" That's what I told myself a couple of dozen times this season just before pulling the trigger or releasing an arrow.

    The wife and I need one deer a year for the freezer. It's going to be a great one, or it's going to happen in the last hour of the last day. Or I'll do without. My season will be great regardless!
    Campfire likes this.
  6. Meatstick

    Meatstick 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2013
    Washington County
    Then what do you consider "a great one"?
    Folks with such reverence toward a deer, such as yourself, don't consider them all to be great?
  7. Mt Pokt

    Mt Pokt 6 pointer

    Nov 8, 2018
    Campbell County
    Uh... okay...

    A fawn that's going to yield enough meat for a single bbq is the opposite of a great one.

    But you totally missed the point of my post anyway. Please highlight in my comment where I insinuated that I hold deer is such high regard as you suggest. I'll wait...

    Yeah, I didn't think you were going to find anything. Move along now....
  8. Meatstick

    Meatstick 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2013
    Washington County
    Awful defensive.
    Get back to your peace and tranquility, there Sunshine
  9. Mt Pokt

    Mt Pokt 6 pointer

    Nov 8, 2018
    Campbell County
    Didn't realize an argument was your intent. I'll try harder next time. :rolleyes:
  10. Meatstick

    Meatstick 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2013
    Washington County
    It certainly wasn't.
    Move along now...
  11. Ataulbe1

    Ataulbe1 12 pointer

    Oct 27, 2017
    Estill County
    Alot of truth in that post. Described in a way I couldn't have articulated. Hunting isn't always pretty but it doesn't get any more real. I've always struggled explaining to non-hunters how and why I would enjoy destroying something I have more respect and appreciation for than they do.
  12. huntr467

    huntr467 12 pointer

    I find it ironic how we as hunters have such a disdain for something else or someone else to kill "our" quarry.
    How we feel such sadness or anger for a deer that got hung in a fence only to die or one hit by a car, one killed by a neighbor that was not one we might have killed (yet) is a contradiction to our mission, which is to kill them.

    I witnessed a dog trying to maul a new born fawn and I was mad at the dog and wanted to kill him so he didnt kill something I may want to kill later. o_O

    We have this need to protect something we ultimately desire to kill when we see fit. Not sure of the scientific explanation but I am sure there is one.

    I guess it is no difference than growing a garden you intend to kill and eat but will kill anything that eats it before you.
    I assume that is the two sides you speak of.
  13. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    There used to be a magazine called Between the Rivers or something similar. I remember an article in there about a college professor that had lived between the rivers of what is now called Land Between the Lakes.

    She discussed how it felt to raise, slaughter and consume an animal on the homestead. I can’t remember her exact words, but it was something along the lines of a cyclical reciprocal way of life that felt so normal to her and still did.

    I’ve always related her article to how I feel about a hound dying. I prefer they die at home or in the field. It just feels more natural and cyclical. That’s not the best way to describe it, but it does feel the most natural to me.

    Killing to journey down the road of experiencing the hunt feels the same...
    muddhunter likes this.
  14. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks 12 pointer

    Nov 16, 2013
    Northern Kentucky
    Wow it just got deep in here.
  15. theprofessor

    theprofessor 6 pointer

    Oct 14, 2013
    It's not quite what you're talking about, but lately I've been meditating on the 'magical surprise' of deer, how they seem to just materialize out of nowhere.

    I've been surprised by just about every one, and I love that about them.

    And even if it's not a shocker, I'm still pretty taken with how silent and eerie they are as they move through the woods. It wakes me up in the middle of the night, and I can't get back to sleep for thinking about it.

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