Deer hunters are a strange and obsessive breed that never stop thinking about chasing whitetail deer.
Honestly, some of the content found herein may be more widespread than we want to admit. It's even possible that this should be named "5 Things That All Deer Hunters Do In the Summer," but we're likely not that obsessed are we?
Successful hunters never take a day off, and deer hunters are the optimum breed. Deer hunting is our life and passion and every whitetail hunter that chases a rack of antlers during deer season knows one thing: when the moment of truth arrives no one is more prepared to cut down the deer population than the venerable deer hunter.
Whether it's archery season or the rage of the rut that drives you, big game hunting for whitetails is the reason why we spend so much time in the woods and keep our credit cards smoldering during the entire year. The trail camera may be getting mostly antlerless deer pictures right now, but better deer are out there and that's the prime reason why we obsess over deer hunting. It's also why we do some of the strange things we do.
Once you've gotten that first game camera picture of a growing big buck you'll be dreaming about the wind direction and a double lung shot, but not to worry because you've been doing your homework right?
Here are a few of the OCDH (Obsessive Compulsive Deer Hunter) things we do to keep our minds off of the fact that it's still 90-plus degrees outside.
1. Blow and/or Stomp at a Deer
To say that you haven't done this one at almost any time of the year is a big fat fib for a deer hunter.
We see them everywhere (including in our dreams), so it stands to reason that during the offseason we want to know what all their reactions are, and this is the best time of the year to do it. Raise your hand if you've ever garnered a "What the hell are you doing?" response from your significant other.
2. Share a Picture of a Raccoon
Or a fox, fawn, rabbit, coyote, or whatever. While we're getting some good pictures of antler growth and body size, mature bucks are still in summer mode and their necks aren't swollen yet. Game cameras can be a pain to check, what with the bugs and all, but it's almost time for some good bragging photos while we're still getting chased out of the woods.
3. Take Our Calls On the Road
Included here are a few of my favorite duck calls--including a drake mallard--a rooster pheasant call (which I sometimes use as a turkey locator call), my slate call, and my beat up, go-to grunt tube. I've been leaving this lot in every truck I've owned for the last 25-years to insure that I keep blowing them all year long.
Somewhere in western NY you could probably find someone who has sat next to me at a stop light and wondered how I escaped from the asylum. Since people continue to light a smoke, do their lipstick, and a plethora of other one-handed things, I don't think blowing a grunt tube in the car is a big deal, but if you feel that its inherently dangerous, then by all means do not do it.
4. Put the Scope On Something. Anything!
Muzzleloaders, crossbows, shotguns, and rifles all can have them, and since most do, we have cause to raise it up, aim at a tree in the backyard and pretend to pull the trigger. If you get deer in your yard or see them out on your property, then even better, as it gives you a virtual target to practice on. Squirrels are great for this along with rabbits, skunks, possums, etc, but don't pull the trigger on anything that's not in season!
5. Smell Our Hunting Clothes
My deer hunting clothes are in a constant state of hanging from the rafters of the garage to insure that they get all of the air that they can. Still, months after the season is over I love the way that they still smell like deer dander, the tree that I use, and the outdoors.
And yes, there is still a hint of doe-in-estrous smell on there that only makes it all the better. Even though it may seem a bit odd, it is still the best reminder of the open season that I can get with months to go until the autumn.
As a breed of hunter, the deer hunter is one of the most unique and maybe the hardest working. We talk about it, think about it, and spend the night dreaming about it until it all comes to fruition.
Just because we blow a grunt tube at a stop light or take random whiffs of our clothes as we walk by doesn't make us bad people, it just makes us more lovable and most importantly: more successful.