Friday, March 26, 2010

Whitetail Fever - A Bit Too Early?
I know it's only March, but I am already getting excited about my annual whitetail hunt with my brother, BJ,  and my dad in western NY. I grew up hunting the farms and woods of central and western NY and it is more than addictive. It is most certainly my passion.

A little back story for you... When I moved out to California four years ago, one of my biggest fears was that my hunting would be non-existent. For the first year it was as I got settled into the concrete jungle of Southern California. Then I met up with some guys who were more than vague when it came to discussing hunting and it was then that I realized that the competition out here was fierce. Where was I going to find some area to hunt without knowing anyone? I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I met up with a guy to purchase some arrows from him and got to talking about hunting. Long story short, we decided to hunt together and if I drove he'd help shoe me some public land spots. He was good to his word and showed me some amazing public hunting land.That was three years ago and I still have yet to harvest a SoCal mule deer. It's a lot of work, but to me it's rewarding knowing that one day my hard work will pay off.

I tell that story because hunting Southern California is hard work and it lets me appreciate hunting with BJ and my dad even more. Taking things for granted can be easy. One example is the fact that I don't have to scout at all. They do it for me. They have stands all set up and BJ provides the lodging, food and a hot shower. It's going on a guided hunt for the expense of a plane ticket. They have turned into my guides and for that I am very thankful. I know the areas we go to better each year so they have to guide less and less.

As I wrote this I went to the CA DFG website Q&A section and found this regarding whitetail hunting...

Hunting in NY is very different from SoCal. I have more viable property to hunt. My hunting partners are family and always willing to go hunting.  The laws are easier to follow and you didn't have the gov't fighting you at every turn. The travel is minimal and the scenery always beautiful. It's truly amazing.

Last year I went right before the rut and had a great time. I had a buck walk 20 yards in front of me, but wouldn't stop. I was bummed because I wanted it on film and BJ was taping the entire time. Of course the deer stopped in front of him while he was armed with the video camera. We had a great hunt, saw some nice deer, and had fun as the three of us always do. If you don't get some good-natured ribbing then it isn't a fun hunt.  I didn't get a deer during last years hunt, but I walked away with fond memories. That's what I love about hunting: memories and backstraps. This year I am thinking of going at the same time, bringing the archery gear and trying to put some meat in the freezer.

It's still 8 months away... but I am excited about going back and doing some whitetail hunting with family. Maybe we'll get a shot on tape or maybe a miss. Either way, any hunt I get to go on is successful in my book. November... here I come!

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