Although many old-time deer camp photos depict sagging meat poles, hunting big bucks was far from easy. Back then, North America was home to only 500,000 whitetails. Due to the growing nation’s demand for fresh venison, market hunting nearly wiped out the herd. Conservation efforts and modern deer hunting regulations (bag limits), however, brought the herd back with a vengeance.
A big part of the whitetail’s resurgence can be linked to logging efforts in Northern areas. As lumber operations boomed, the deer population exploded with the emergence of second-growth timber. Such efforts are still vital to today’s herds, but modern land management has certainly evolved to better accommodate the whitetail’s needs.
I personally can’t get enough of old-time photos like these. They evoke thoughts of cooking over hot oak coals, hunting deer in the rugged wilderness, and spending "man time" with other hardcore deer hunters. The thrill of such hunts certainly transcend time; it must be something that’s simply wired in our DNA.