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In the Books…

December 13th, 2007

Well, another West Virginia hunting season is now in the books for me.  As you saw from my last post, it was a bit abbreviated, due to the birth of my son.  I was still able to tag 3 deer, two bucks and a doe.  I did get to go out looking for a final deer with a muzzle loader this week, but we had terrible weather.  It rained most of the time, and was over 50 degrees.  It was quiet, and I was able to do quite a bit of still hunting.  I only had one opportunity at a deer that I walked up on in its bed, but did not take the shot, as I was trying to drive deer to a hunting companion of mine.  The deer were very few and far between, and they were very skittish this late in the season.  We ended up coming home empty handed, and that’s ok too!

I was very disappointed to find the evidence of deer poaching at our farm this week.  There were 5 carcasses thrown out in the middle of a road, which had been minimally butchered, and had their antlers cut off.  Other hunters in our party told me these deer were already there when the season started.  It has been a common sight over the last few years to find at least 2 bucks killed before the season comes in, and their carcasses thrown out on the side of the road.  It is very disappointing to see this, when we are trying desperately to find nice bucks legally.  It is hard to kill those nice bucks in season when someone else is killing them before!  I also found 2 other deer that were simply shot and left lay in the woods.  One was a doe that had been left for some time, and had been eaten by coyotes.  The other was a small buck, which had only been dead for a couple of days.  It was probably shot in doe season, and left behind because of its antlers.  What a waste!  If you are going to shoot without looking to see if the deer is legal first, then at least take it out so it does not go to waste!  Such unethical practices make me angry as a hunter, because it is such things as this that give hunters a bad name.  We need to hunt ethically, and treat our quarry with respect.

I hope to get a few days to hunt in Alabama this year.  Last year I was able to bag a couple of does down that way, and put a little meat in my in-laws freezer.  Maybe I will have a chance to do that again this year.  It is always fun to hunt down there.  The methods of hunting are so different from up here, it was like learning to hunt all over again.  We shall see if the deer are ready for me in a couple weeks!

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