Wednesday, October 24, 2012

That's a small buck... ya but it tastes great!!!

 Today was the end of rifle season for deer here in Idaho.  On my last post, I wrote about how my wife and I were able to share the experience of both of us filling our tags on the same day.  I love the memory and am glad that my wife and I could put some meat in the freezer. 

Archery bow kill -husband and wife
My wife and I with our small bucks
 After filling my buck tag with the small two point I shot, I was left to fill by doe tag.  As I mentioned today was the last day of rifle season and I hadn't even gone out once to look for deer.  I figured I would just go later in the season to look for a doe so that I could watch for any bucks during the rut during late archery season.  My dad called me yesterday and said that he wanted to go out on a drive to see if the recent snow storm had gotten the deer moving.  Of course with all my work piling up from my job and masters program, it was a no brainer... I had to go hunting!  So my dad picked me up in his truck and we took off toward the mountains.  We sought out with the thoughts that if we even got a pine grouse we would be happy and the trip would be worth it... Before we even hit the tree line we saw a grouse on the road so we pulled out the shot gun and provided ourselves with a snack.  We proceeded to drive around and hunt in a few areas, mostly glassing mountain sides and frequently used areas hoping to see some animals moving around in the bad weather.  With the snow and the temperature down to 30 degrees we couldn't help but talk about winter coming.  We talked about everything we had to do before the holidays and we also talked about how excited we were for ice fishing.  During this conversation, my dad said something along the lines of how he hates the dilemma of choosing between hunting and fishing late in the season because he enjoys them both quite a bit.  I made the joke and said that is why I shot the first buck I saw because I just wanted meat in the freezer and more time for ice fishing... Give it, I love to chase deer late in the season, and my statement wasn't 100% truthful, but at the same time it wasn't a false statement either.  My dad talked about how he had eaten tag soup the last few years because he was "holding out" for a bigger buck.  This is a man who has shot more big bucks than anyone I know... We talked about how with everything we had going on that he might shoot his white tail doe if he saw one, or maybe even a smaller buck if he got the opportunity. We decided at this point that we would drive out on a different road and try to get near some fields to see if we could catch some deer coming out right when the sun was going down.  We didn't even drive 100 feet before we saw a small two point cross the road in-front of us!  My dad and I both jumped out of the vehicle with our guns and looked around to see if there were any more deer in the area.  The only deer we saw was the two point who had gone about 40 yards and stopped broadside staring at us.  My dad looked at me and asked what I thought and I told him it was up to him.  Next thing I knew my dad had pulled the trigger and this buck was down. 
My dad and his deer after we got back to the truck
My dad was super excited that he shot a deer and that it was so close to the road.  We each grabbed a horn and drug it back to the truck.  After taking care of the deer my dad and I talked about how we had talked about filling out tag so that we could fill our freezers.  We talked about how long it had been since he and I had drove around as father and son and shared the experience of taking an animal together.  We talked about our families and our lives and how blessed we are to be doing what we are doing. 

I was taught that the reason we hunt is to help provide for our families.  We enjoy the sport and enjoy the comradery, and we don't feel guilty hunting or shooting any animal because we know it does not go to waste.  I often hear people express feelings about deer management and what a "shooter" buck is or is not... I share the story of my wife, my dad, and myself not to rub it in anyone's face that I disagree, but more as a conversation starter wondering what peoples thoughts are about these three experiences and our decision to take the deer we did.  I am not mad when people do not agree with me, but I am interested in their thoughts.  These deer have all been cut up and packaged personally by my family and we enjoy eating the venison as often as we can.