My friend, Michel Dupuis, would have loved to put a .306 round through his neck, but season is over. The deer can sense it when the season is over. Its like we’re friends again – until next October, that is. If you hunt off-season, you are a schmuck because of the consequences of getting caught – a five grand fine, the loss of your firearm and hunting licenses and the confiscation of your gear – your truck included.
But a hunt is something one has to experience at least once in a lifetime. Or be a hunter, like me and Michel. It is not just the kill, it is the whole thing – the prep, the drive through the wild, the chill, the bivouac, the buddies, the booze, the wait, the click of the bolt hitting the round in the chamber, the shot, the leap-back of the stock, the jarred shoulder, the pinging ear, the frightened scampering, limping flight in the brush, the trail of blood, the carcass, the drag over the cold hard ground, the hitching up and the skinning and cleaning, the packaging and the venison in the freezer for a whole year.
It is a heady thing but if you haven’t experienced it, you’ll never know it. Are we hunters bad? Maybe, but if I kill for meat, I do not think I am being cruel. I take my time and try my best to get the animal with one shot at the right spot. He doesn’t know what hit him. I have never had a doe run injured through the brush and get torn to pieces by coyotes.
Don’t you eat mutton or chicken? Just because you get someone else (the butcher) to do the killing for you, that is moral and my killing a whitetail isn’t – does that make sense?
That buck in the foreground is a 12-pointer, six on each side, each point being one tine on his rack. Eventually the whole rack will fall off and regenerate.
The time of the year a buck sheds it’s rack depends upon his age. If he is old, he will shed in December. This one still has his rack, which means he is young and will shed in spring (anytime now, that is). It figures, since the rack seems fully developed.
The antler grows back through summer and by fall, it is fully grown, ready for the inevitable locked horn fights for pussy in the October mating season. And as he ages, the buck will grow more and more tines every year and by the time he dies (if he is lucky enough to die of old age, that is) he will have a 16-point rack.
Its really crazy – we salivate over and kill them in the fall and now they amble over trustingly and we feed them carrots.
This one didn’t budge though. He had a kinda world-weary, been there done that, ‘seen it all’ look in his eyes. I whistled, clicked my tongue, snapped my fingers, clapped my hands, fell to my knees and begged him to come over and have the carrot I was waving at him and maybe take a photo with me but he said,” Shove it up yours. Carrots, carrots, carrots, ugh! Don’t you m—-er f—-ers have nuthin else to bring? Get me a hamper of pears and blueberries and I might think about it. Now scoot. Lizzy, over there, says season is over but she likes to get it on in spring. Scram.”
I could identify with that. Why does sex have to be confined to a season?