Planning for the 2013 white-tailed deer firearms hunting season

Tim LesmeisterThis year’s firearms whitetail hunting seasons are approaching, and I have decisions to make. Do I hunt Iowa? Do I attend the Minnesota Governor’s Opener? Do I hunt with my pistol or oil up an AR-style rifle and hunt with it just to offend a radical gun-hating animal righteous freak when they see the photos? (If they see the photos?) I doubt many fanatical anti-hunting extremists cruise the web in search of dead animal photos, but if some do I would enjoy them seeing me next to Bambi as I lean against my Remington R-25.

I haven’t hunted Iowa for a few years even though I own hunting land there. The application deadline is too early and the cost outrageous. Iowa requires nonresident hunters to go through a lottery process and purchase a small-game license. That small-game license purchase didn’t bother me nearly as much when there were some pheasants to hunt. These days there might be one rooster left in Iowa (see the state’s latest dire pheasant report here), and I don’t feel like tracking him down. Even though I could get an over-the-counter deer license to hunt somewhere in Iowa, I’ll put any money that I might push toward an Iowa hunt into a Wisconsin hunt.

Wisconsin doesn’t punish nonresident deer hunters as much as Iowa does. They love their coyotes and fox, though, because a nonresident is required to purchase a more expensive fur-bearers license to hunt these canine predators. Most other states simply consider those species a nuisance. I don’t get that one at all.

I haven’t hunted Minnesota for awhile because I always attended the Governor’s Deer Opener even,t and by the time the muzzleloader season rolled around my sons had stocked the freezer full of venison.  I probably will skip that event this year so I can hunt with my sons and my grandson in northern Minnesota.

It’s difficult for me to appreciate the governor’s event now that we have a state leader who doesn’t wish to kill a whitetail. Our last governor took to the woods and even pulled the trigger a few times and killed a buck one year. The current governor makes a quick appearance and is gone. I appreciate his support for deer hunting and the communities that sponsor the event, but his lackluster attitude for the actual hunt doesn’t motivate me to attend.

One thing that hasn’t changed is my craving for a juicy venison steak sizzling on the grill, and every time I spot a small antlerless deer on one of my properties I start to drool. There will be a lot of hunters in the woods soon, cradling rifles and hoping for a big buck with a trophy rack to wander into range. Me, on the other hand? I’ll have my sharp eye open for the smallest doe in the group. I don’t even have to ponder that decision. If I can tie off the legs after gutting it and carry it to the truck like a suitcase, that deer has my name written all over it.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, MinBlogs, Social Media, Tim Lesmeister, Whitetail Deer

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