It was a freezing cold November morning as I was making my way to my treestand. I did my homework and patterned the deer movement in the area. I was hoping my preseason scouting would pay off early so I could get back into the warmth by the woodstove. The light fluffy snow that was on the ground was excellent for stalking quietly to my treestand as I read in a how to in the popular Deer and Deer Hunting Magazine. I wasn't lucky like other 16 year old teenagers in having a role model to teach me how to hunt. On the other hand I do think I was extremely lucky, otherwise I wouldn't have turned into the hunter I am today without reading and learning from the contributors of D&DH at that early age. That morning all my scouting and studying paid off and I harvested my first buck at 15 yards. He dropped in his tracks as the lead buried deep in his brisket,into his lungs, through the liver and into his haunch. . I couldn't ask for more it was a clean and humane harvest. My love for deerhunting was instilled deeply at that young age with my first buck harvest.
I think every hunter at one point in their life has their hunting ethics tested. When I was about 25 I had a hunting partner and we used to hunt everything from coyotes to deer together. I learned alot from him he was a fair chase hunter as I was or so I thought. In till I planted a acre of clover back then. We had a long talk about it, I told him all the benefits of it helping the herd. His rebuttal was there was no fair chase in hunting over foodplots no matter how much it "helps the herd". He then went onto say that it would be the same as hunting over a mineral block, salt lick or deer feeder, it helps the herd and gives them nutrition but it is illegal in NY. That year I harvested a nice buck and two doe's because of that foodplot. It didn't feel the same though as when I harvested my first buck that early November morning in it's natural surroundings. I have harvested many deer in their natural surroundings. So should we leave it up to the DNR and DEC to be the deer managers?
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth