Understanding the Quest of the Deer Hunter

Updated on November 8, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth is a natural-born southerner and grew up his entire life in the south where he has resided now for 63 years in Hamilton, Al.,

A deer hunter with his trophy buck.
A deer hunter with his trophy buck. | Source

Is life, in its quiet, almost-muted, numb existence a series of events and visible things that we do not understand. Or . . .is life in its quiet, almost-muted, numb existence just that? These are the very questions where I now grieve because I never got to attend college. I could write you one humdinger-of-a-sad letter about how I watched on the sidelines my classmates go on to their various institutes of higher learning and make something of themselves and be in line to make lots of dollars, but why? You do not need to waste your time reading one of my "Sad Sack" letters about me missing the boat when the captain called, Board, and then shoved off.

I will do you a big favor. And by taking advantage of this FREE favor, you can join me, if only for a fleeting moment, help me in trying to understand one of life's many mysteries: Understanding The Quest of The Deer Hunters, not a film that Robert De Niro would think about working in "his" cult classic, The Deer Hunter. I loved Christopher Walken in that film.

You would do yourself good if you want to walk up and actually shake hands with a true deer hunter and you can do this in the area where I live: The south. Hold on. Don't let your mind trail off by angry images of fools in white sheets burning gasoline-soaked crosses. This is NOT the south, I'm still sad to say.

Deer hunters, by their very name, are really good guys. Even the girls who hunt deer with or without their wedding bands are good girls. I know both sides of the deer hunter saga that suddenly comes to life when southerners yell, "Deer Season," from their open windows of their pick-up trucks. Deer hunters and the Alabama Game and Fish Commission are sticklers for Deer Hunting Places and Dates. Open Permit/Public Land: Bucks November 18, 2017 to February 10, 2018. Either Sex December 15, 2017 to January 1, 2018. I find myself respecting these guys who enforce the Wildlife Laws in my state.

But that is just as far as my understanding goes--what really gives me an upset stomach, jangled nerves and insomnia are the Deer Hunters themselves. Like I said, I like deer hunters male and female. I find nothing wrong with these Sports-Persons. So why do I find myself right now of making a bold statement, then apologizing for writing that statement? Maybe (this), me apologizing so much is something you do not understand.

There is really nowhere to begin this Quest for Deer Hunters for an experienced, professional deer hunter can pick up at anytime, even in church, when Deer Season is legal and be in the woods in their camouflage in minutes flat. I know a few of these guys. They make no apology for how much they love to hunt deer. Either in our out of season, deer hunters have some God-given Seventh Sense that helps them to hone in to where another deer hunter may be shopping in the nearest Walmart or Bass Pro Shop. I promise you that two deer hunters, both from opposite sides of the state, never knowing anything about the other, will end up finding each other and talking themselves past closing time in any store. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact. A southern fact among Deer Hunters.

Deer hunters around my neck of the woods (I thought that this phrase would work fine) all have great paying jobs--construction; brick masons; cement block layers; retired military; NASA, and NFL head coaches. Why? Have you EVER priced the clothing, shoes, ammunition, firearms, and various deer urine and scents? Costly is the answer. An experienced deer hunter will budget his salary (or pension) months ahead of when Deer Season opens. Thus, a successful deer hunter is a smart deer hunter.

Wives and girlfriends of deer hunters have hearts of pure gold. These gals go past what the definitions of patience and understanding. Ask one sometime. She will be more than glad for you to talk to her for if you listen closely, you will hear her say . . ."I love Tom so much because he was upfront about his love for deer hunting when we fell in love." Huh? Ever hear one of these gals talk up about their husbands. The same wife might add: "Tom does not drink, smoke, gamble or chase women. He just gets up at 4 a.m. and works until 9 at night and goes straight home and if he wants to spend a weekend hunting deer, wy' girl, I encourage him." Ever hear a wife of a deer hunter talk like this?

I have. And around where I live, this is a rare thing that women say about their husband deer hunters. And truth be told, deer hunting, like any other hobby or sideline, can be so excessive that it can lead to divorce. Some men and women are not equipped to cope with the mate whose hobby takes weeks out of her life. (I cleared my throat here). I just knew that most of you female readers would say, "yeah, football season!"

Another thing that I won't attempt to understand about Deer Hunting are those awful hours. Some deer hunters go to bed at 8 p.m. and rise at 3:30 a.m., fully-dressed in camouflage, gun loaded, and truck loaded--ready to hit the best spot in the woods. These "spots" are known as Deer Trails and good deer hunters know how to "read" the woodland where deer have been bedding, eating, or raising their young. I told you that Deer Hunting was an involved sport.

One thing that deer hunters in my area of the nation do not do much anymore is killing more deer than the law allows. It's a crime, alright, but not serious enough to send a good ol' boy to prison. Some of "these" deer hunters only do this to have bragging rights to rub a fellow deer hunter's nose in it for not bagging his limit. Men are like this when Deer Season rolls around.

I know that most deer hunters will use the deer meat when they kill a deer or two depending on the area where their Deer Season starts and stops. I know of one man who lives a few miles from me who loves to Bow Hunt in his Deer Hunting rather than use a high-powered rifle. I asked him years ago why he hunts deer so much? The answer might shock you: He said that he likes to use his bow to kill enough deer to give to his neighbors so they can put the dressed meat into their freezers--and this man said of himself that he really didn't like to eat deer meat, but loved the sport of hunting them.

The last thing that I do not understand about hunting deer is one, now all deer hunters, don't laugh, that keeps me happy for not getting into deer hunting when I was a kid: The deer are so pretty and cute that I would be out of my mind to even try to kill something so cute and cuddly.

I wonder sometimes if my wife feels this way.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Kenneth Avery

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      • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenneth Avery 

        11 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hey, Eric,

        Loved every syllable of your nice comment.

        Very touching; Honest and moving.

        Thank you.

        I appreciate you very much.

        Write soon.

      • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenneth Avery 

        11 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hi, RoadMonkey,

        I admire your sense of justice and fair play. I am sincere.

        I feel the same way, but in years ago, take bass fishing for instance: I worked for a local newspaper and in the early days, men who loved to fish for bass would catch way over their limit, (don't ask me why) and get us to publish them with their stringers of fish that were then dumped into a landfill.

        Talk about cruelty.

        This is why I cannot go fishing.

        Write soon.

      • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenneth Avery 

        11 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Kari,

        I have eaten venison if offered to me, but I may start to declining the offers--or be thought of a hypocrite.

        But truth be told: I cannot make myself take the life of a deer or any living animal, fish, bird, or person.

        Funny. It's us, the "wise" creations that cause so much heart-ache.

        Thanks for your input.

        Write soon.

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 

        11 months ago from Ohio

        I also know many deer hunters. In NJ the venison was pretty gamey. In NM it was just like eating beef. I think it had to do with the difference in their diets. But, I never met a deer hunter who didn't eat venison.

      • RoadMonkey profile image

        RoadMonkey 

        11 months ago

        If the deer hunter doesn't like to eat venison, then I am glad he can find a neighbour who does, so the meat doesn't go to waste. If a person is a meat eater, then I don't see it as any different from eating beef, provided the manner of death is quick and does not involve cruelty or suffering by the animal.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        I think every good hunter in my neck of the woods gave a whole lot more than the keep. My mom really appreciated the hundred to two hundred $ she would save feeding us 6 kids. My brother and I got taught tracking in the Kaibab and Coconino nat'l forests. We would hunt game for months ahead of time and then get hired to lead hunters. My big brother shot one once and that was that for us -- just no heart in.

        You did a very nice view here. Pleasure to read.

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