This deer-hunting season was one to savor

Even as an extremely hectic year speeds to its end, I’m allowing myself a brief moment of contentment to breathe and reflect upon my 2017 hunting season.

It was good. Actually, it was phenomenal. There were no debacles, no forgetting a vital piece of equipment, only to realize after getting situated in a stand that it was still in my vehicle, a quarter-mile away. In fact, and possibly for the first time ever, this year’s deer season ran unusually smooth.

And the best part is that I used up my entire archery combo tag before the middle of November, which means that since I was more than happy to limit myself to one doe and one buck, there was no need to hunt in brutally cold temps. I mean, I love sitting in a treestand as much as any deer hunter. But when your appendages are so cold they hurt, it kind of has a blunt way of putting a damper on the experience.

I may have mentioned once or twice – or a thousand times – that I love deer. Heck, I’m not even ashamed to admit that I like them far better than a good portion of the human population. Every now and then, I believe that it’s only fitting to give credit to the animal that brings hunters and non-hunters alike so much – joy, entertainment, experiences, food, memories, and stories. I personally can’t think of a more appropriate nickname for the whitetail than, “Nature’s Superstar,” which was coined many years ago by whitetail behaviorist, author and photographer Charles Alsheimer.

Some of my favorite hunters to swap stories with are those who have lived and hunted long enough to see the whitetail at its highest and lowest points. These hunters have had the greatest opportunity of us all. They’ve seen first-hand the resiliency and adaptability that make these animals so legendary.

Look for some of my favorite deer memories in the upcoming issue of Illinois Outdoor News.

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