A friend of mine, George, is an avid outdoorsman here in upstate New York. George has spent thousands of hours trapping and hunting turkeys over the course of his lifetime. His skills are fine tuned. The truth that proves it is his ability to place the pad of a coyotes foot on a three inch diameter steel trap pan within hundreds of acres of farmland. As a hard-core fur trapper for over thirty years, George has seen many shenanigans performed by deer hunters.
An overall lack of respect for the environment, misuse of state land (and private land) is often displayed by some of the legion of people who go afield a few times a year and call themselves deer hunters. Such behavior is a disservice to deer hunting and paints a public picture of this popular and exciting sporting pursuit as wasteful and reckless.
Incidences of wounded deer un-recovered, coyotes shot and left behind, litter, and trespassing are some of the things deer hunters have been known to do. So it is easy to see why George, and many others, have grown a distaste for deer hunting.
As an afflicted whitetail hunter I have developed my own set of opinions. Hunting whitetails is one of my favorite pursuits because of its challenging nature, camaraderie, and tradition. The rules and ethics of the sport are often unwritten. Over the course of the next few weeks I will share some things I have learned (and of course some of my opinions and interpretations) of the modern-day game of whitetail hunting in Upstate New York. For the seasoned whitetail hunter there may be little to gain. For those interested in learning, however, there will be nuggets of knowledge gained from my 35 years of experience hunting deer in Upstate New York.