These 20 things that we have to tolerate from other deer hunters are the reason why we take pills.
Hey, we're trying to hunt over here!
We work and we slave, then these other folks show up to the dance without dancing shoes!
Some of those same people will probably even see a bit of themselves in the words herein. While some of us commit to scout, prepare, and get everything ready, there are those out there whose job it is to annoy and frustrate the hell out of us.
Included here are things that you've had done to you, and maybe a few that we're all guilty of. In fact I'm certain that some of the good people reading this do some of these things as a matter of course.
It's just that most of us, from a true sportsman perspective, don't care for it. At all.
Good, smart deer management, whether it's up to a state agency on public land or the individual who owns private land, is always preferred. But not everyone who holds a hunting license necessarily knows all of the hunting regulations, whether they're official rules or unwritten best practices. How can we fight against that ignorance, and make sure everyone's respecting our natural resources?
Either way you'll draw a suspicious eye towards some of these foibles and failings that some in the deer hunting community just do without the discomfort of thought.
1. Show up for the first time on opening day
We've been pruning lanes since late summer, checking stands for safety, pulling cards from the trail cams, and scouting. Haven't seen our fellow hunters since last season.
Oh, here they come. And not a moment too soon!
2. Talk too loud or too much on the radio
If we can hear you without the radio, you're talking too loud. Shut up.
3. Text too much
Texting is one of the best communication tools ever discovered for the hunt, but it can still be overused this time of year. Social media is fun to browse when you're bored, but doesn't belong in the ground blinds or tree stands of the deer woods.
Archery, muzzleloaders, shotguns, and bolt action rifles all require two hands. Texting calls for at least one. Can you do the math?
4. Shooting before sunrise or after sunset
On a deer hunt, it's about safety and the rules are there for all of us.
Once on opening day, the neighboring landowner touched off the first shot of the year about 30 minutes too early. Then I had to listen to him drive in and out with his ATV before it was even officially shooting hours.
5. Shooting does with fawns
Some will say things like: "If it's brown it's down," or it "looked bigger from the tree," or the classic "gotta fill my freezer!"
No it's not illegal, but you can do better. It's clearly not good for a deer herd's health.
6. Not wearing any safety colors
As of the 2020 hunting season only eight of the 50 United States do not require hunter orange under some circumstances.
All I can say is that when we're up in a tree with a loaded firearm, we want to know whether that the movement we see is a deer or a human, immediately. Blaze orange takes care of that.
Do what you want if it's legal, but it's borderline ignorant not to use safety orange.
7. Walking right up to us in our stand to chat
You better be wearing orange and it had better be an emergency because I don't want to chat. I'm hunting over here!
8. Wandering endlessly
You know what? Eventually you are going to kick deer, maybe even mature bucks, our way. But when I see you go by, and then return back, and then stroll by again...that's counterintuitive. Maybe you should just go.
9. Showing up unprepared
We're putting on a drive and you wore sitting clothes, uncomfortable boots, and have no radio? This leads to number 10.
10. Never wants to walk for the big deer drive
You can't consistently be that hunter that never brush-busts. Don't wonder when you stop getting the call to go.
11. Acting ignorant of private property
This could be the number one reason that we chew on nails during deer season. I've said it forever: there is nothing like gun season to bring out the a-hole in people. Respect private property and do not act like you didn't know it was posted.
Without landowner permission, there's no way around it, even if the best food plots or most desirable bedding areas are on the other side of the fence.
12. Never used their gun before the season
I have a rifled barrel that has the scope mounted right to it so that when I take it off for bird season, the scope goes right with it. That being said, I still shoot before the opener! Don't you want to know what your gun's gonna do when that big buck walks up?!
13. Never sighting their gun
So you missed that first deer wildly and now you're going to sight in? I've seen them do it: walk right out into the open field and start plugging away at a tree to see where their shot is going. Couldn't do that ahead of time, huh?
14. Hunting in their work clothes
I'm not talking about under your hunting clothes, we've all done that. I mean those jeans, steel-toed boots, work shirt, and that vest you were flagging traffic with earlier. How long can you sit in those clothes? That's right, you got here late, walked up to say hi, and have been wandering ever since.
Actually, a lot of folks feel like cigars are attractive to deer, and they've been making things that smolder in the woods for a while now. But c'mon, sitting there having cigarette after cigarette while bowhunting is just not conducive, I don't care what you say.
16. Taking a poo
We all eventually have to pee, bottle or no bottle, and there are varying opinions about that. Do what you have to do, but when you choose to drop a number two in the woods you just left a negative scent bomb that just nuked every deer within miles.
17. Shooting young bucks
It's the endless argument over harvest versus quality management of a deer population. Maybe the worst thing of all is when you let a whitetail walk and somebody else shoots it.
Yep, as long as it's legal, there isn't much you can do about it other than tell the hunter congratulations. Through gritted teeth, that is.
18. Taking bad shots
19. Wounding deer and tracking them too soon
It's one of the most difficult things to do in deer hunting, but if you find the last decent sign of blood and then lose it, you should mark it and then walk out the woods the other way.
Losing the blood trail on big game can be a sign that the deer is still running and won't stop until you do.
20. Acting like Mr. Know-it-all
This is the guy that just instinctively knows where all the deer are, which way they will go, where to set up, what brand of ammunition works the best, why his firearm is the greatest one of all, which moon phase is right, how to hunt the rut, blah, blah, blah... and doesn't mind telling you.
Dishonorable mention goes to folks who overuse the ATV. It's the workhorse of the hunt, but when you're coming back and forth constantly... let's just say that if we can hear you from 200 yards away, the deer can too.
What else fries your potatoes when you're out deer hunting? Which of these don't bother you at all? Is there anything that you are guilty of on this list?
Is there anything that you feel we're all guilty of?
Maybe I'll shut up now...