Tag Archives: White-tailed Deer

The Gift – A Young Deer Hunter Joins Up

Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak (Sports)

The original big-man stand, the Summit Goliath SD remains a huge favorite among hunters, and with good reason. Featuring the same comfort-engineered design as the Viper SD but with a wider top, the Goliath SD allows larger-framed hunters a little more room to move—with only a minimal gain in weight. At 21 lbs., the Goliath SD is still lightweight and portable enough to go everywhere you go and also boasts a larger, more comfortable seat. PROVEN RELIABILITY: Built to last, the Goliath SD Tree Stand is covered by Summit’s 5-Year Limited Warranty. DEADMETAL SOUND-DEADENING TECHNOLOGY: Critical parts of your tree stand’s platform are filled in with a custom-engineered expanding foam to reduce unintentional noises. QUICKDRAW CABLE RETENTION SYSTEM: The simplest, fastest and quietest cable attachment system ever invented, no fumbling with pins, knobs, nuts or bolts necessary. Size the cable to your tree’s diameter, insert the cable into the retention bracket, and the QuickDraw trigger locks securely in place. Pull the “trigger” to remove the stand from the tree. SUMMITLOKT STRUCTURAL ENHANCEMENT: High-quality extruded aluminum and precision welds provide maximum rigidity and strength. Each joint is “locked” into place before welding and designed so that stress its welds is minimized, for a stand that’s strong, safe, secure and silent. RAPIDCLIMB CLIMBING STIRRUPS: A standard feature on all Summit climbing stands, RapidClimb stirrups are easy to use and adjustable to fit any boot. Designed to keep your boot securely attached to the platform, these ergonomic stirrups allow you to quickly and safely climb to your desired height.

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A Trophy White-tailed Deer leaving a field, and like most whitetail bucks, never very far from brush and cover.
No Sound. No Mind. No Time

READY OR NOT

The young whitetail buck bounds proudly into the field of newly planted winter wheat and stops, and I know that I must remember to take a breath. Just moments before it had magically appeared from the heavy shadows at field’s edge. I saw first its jet black nose, then it’s eyes, followed by searching ears, and horns.

For some mysterious reason I had been staring intently at this very spot amidst the tangle of heavy vines, the bright green leaves of sassafras trees, and the yellow of remnant persimmon fruit hung on bare branches. It is as if I already knew, somehow, that I would see a deer this morning, and was simply waiting for its arrival. It’s a huge moment when you are thirteen. Why it’s as big as the world.

Just before daylight I had wedged myself into the crotch of an old, dead tree on the more open side of a small, protected field. It was more than cold with a biting, mid November wind, but the tree was big, protecting, with thick, comforting limbs radiating from its base. It was like a fort, and it was great fun just to sit there, hidden, listening.

Morning in the eastern deer woods has a rhythm and cadence all its own. Once heard, it remains indelibly recorded on the heartbeat of your mind  I can still hear the stirrings of squirrels and small creatures in the dry leaves and forest duff below, the twittering birds, the scornful proclamations of Blue Jays and wandering crows above. I miss it so.

 

A Gray Squirrel Noses Around The Leaves And Pine Needles and Forest Duff For Food
Now Where Did I Put That?

I remember feeling that the buck knew I was there, would be there…watching. Perhaps he had seen a small, slow movement from me, or perhaps he just, …knew. Will he come? Even If he suspects nothing there is little reason for him to continue across an open field on a bright, sunny morning during gun season, with plenty of heavy cover in the trees of the wood lot behind and around him.

I wait. The buck hesitates for a brief time, an eternity, and then trots calmly and purposely along the edge of the trees towards me. I am paralyzed. Though mostly ready, I’ve not yet had time to assess the situation or remember my role in it. My feet are only about six feet from the ground, and I know that he will see me and swap ends quickly if I move too fast. Still, I feel that he knows I’m there and can not change his course, and can somehow see himself moving, thru my eyes, as he crosses in front of my stand.

It’s now or never, and in one motion I come from behind his track and start to swing my shotgun bead towards his shoulder. He stops as if on command, as if this is his part in the choreography of a primordial dance, and this is the selected spot to place his feet. His body is perfectly broadside, with his head turned towards me and up, his nose shining in the sky.

There is no sound, no mind, no time, just our breath frozen in the air as I settle behind the gun. He waits patiently, gracefully, and completely at peace with what is about to come his way. Both parties share something all-knowing yet incomprehensible, without judgement. It is agreed. We have done this before and may do so again, god willing.

I don’t remember pulling the trigger, yet It ends as it must if you are a hunter. A life taken. I am too young to comprehend the full meaning of the act, yet somehow I know there is something more. It is an end, perhaps a beginning, I do not know. The circle complete, we are bonded. It is a gift of the deer and it is sacred.

I pray I will not forget, both then, and now.


“No Sound. No Mind. No Time…A Hunter’s Mind” – Michael Patrick McCarty

A Vintage photograph of a Young Boy Hunting Near a Woodpile
Wait Long Enough And They Will Come

 

*Few moments in my hunting life have held more importance, my first whitetail buck – a sleek 6 pointer. It was 1971, and I was Thirteen. A hunter, I am.

 

A Best Memory

 

By Michael Patrick McCarty

You might also like our post How It Ought To Be Here.

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Like Father, Like Son

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey (Images of America) (Paperback)

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey cover 22 percent of the most densely populated state in the country. It is the largest stretch of open space between Boston, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia. It reaches across 56 municipalities and 7 counties. The name came from early settlers who thought the area was a vast wasteland, but it is anything but barren. Underneath this incredible natural resource lies almost 17 trillion gallons of some of the purest water on earth. Stands of pitch pine gave birth to the charcoal industry, and its acidic swamps were used first for bog iron and later for cranberry production. Many firsts came from this area, including cranberry sauce, cultivated blueberries, and grape juice. Numerous industries have risen and fallen over time. Remnants of forgotten ghost towns bear witness to that history, but the real stories come from the people who lived and worked there.

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Born To Hunt…

 

Memorial Day, Any Year

It has been said that hunter’s are born, not made, and perhaps this is true. Far be it for me, to disagree.

Hunter’s eyes are born of blood, and I, like my father, and his father before him, would seem to prove that out. Well-worn deer trails, mist-filled bogs, and oceans of pitch pines and blackjack oaks were always a large part of our daily landscapes. I cannot help but think that we were all so much better off for our youthful visions.

Just below is a long forgotten photo of my Dad’s first white-tailed deer, taken with a hand-me-down shotgun in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. As you can see, it was a good one too. He was sixteen years old.

I never did hear the story of that first buck, but I have no doubt that it was a big adventure of some kind. Or at least I would like to think so, knowing my father’s penchant for getting the job done. South Jersey was still a wild place in the 1930’s, and a boy could really stretch out and do some roaming. I surely would have loved to have explored it all back then.

Below that is a photograph of my first big game kill with a bow & arrow, taken not very far away from where my father stood for his photo.  I was also sixteen at the time, and I could not have been more excited, and proud.

The doe may have been small, and the picture is now tattered, and faded, but the memory is not. I remember everything about that hunt as if it was yesterday, and it remains a thrill that has not nearly begun to wear off after all of these many years.

There are far worse things in life, than to be born a hunter…

Good Memories!

 

A vintage hunting photograph of a Teen-Aged Boy Carrying a Buck White-tailed Deer Over His Shoulder Which He Harvested With a Shotgun in the Late 1930's in Southern New Jersey. The deer hunter is Mark A. McCarty Sr.
Mark A. McCarty Sr. With His First Whitetail Buck. Circa 1939
A Teen-Aged Boy and a White-tailed Doe, Taken with a Bow & Arrow in the Mid-1970's in Southern New Jersey. The deer hunter is Michael Patrick McCarty
Michael Patrick McCarty With His First Bow Kill Whitetail. Circa 1974

*My father became an avid bowhunter in the 1950’s, and I am sure that he would have hunted his first deer with archery tackle, if he could have. New Jersey did not hold its first special bow & arrow deer season until 1948, only ten years before I was born.

See Some of the History Of The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Here

By Michael Patrick McCarty

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A vintage hunting photograph of Mark A. McCarty Sr. with a harvest of white-tailed deer, taken during shotgun season in southern New Jersey in the 1930's

 

“A Bowhunter is a Hunter Reborn – Forever…” – Michael Patrick McCarty

 

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A vintage hunting photograph of Mark A. McCarty Sr. from southern New Jersey, circa 1953, holding shotgun. Location unknown

In Memoriam

For Mark A. McCarty Sr.,

United States Army Airborne Ranger

Who Fought and Bled, for Us, in World War II

May You Find Good Trails to Follow

 

 

A Silk Commemorative Scarf, Cut From My Father's Parachute and Custom Sewn in Europe After His Last Jump in World War II. It Includes Patches of The 504th and 507th Parachute Infantry Divisions
A Silk Commemorative Scarf, Cut From My Father’s Parachute and Custom Sewn in Europe After His Last Battle Jump in World War II.
A Custom Sewn Silk Commemorative Scarf, Cut From a Parachute, Showing The Parachutist’s Badge and Paratrooper Glider Patch
The Parachutist’s Badge and Airborne Paratrooper Glider Patch

 

"Thunder From Heaven" - The Airborne and Special Operations Patch of the 17th Airborne Division, Which Was Over the 507th Parachute Regiment During World War II
“Thunder From Heaven” – The Airborne and Special Operations Patch of The 17th Airborne Division

 

The "All-American" 82nd Airborne Division Patch, Earned While Serving With the 504th Parachute Infantry During World War II
An Airborne and Special Operations Patch From The “All-American” 82nd Airborne Division

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Memory’s Gift

A Photograph of a mount of a white-tailed Deer 6 point buck, taken with a shotgun and slug in Maryland in the early 1970's
A Boy’s First Buck

Few events are more memorable to a hunter than the taking of his or her first buck. My guess is that you would probably agree.

Here is a picture of mine, which I recently found in a box of old Ektachrome slides. It is the only physical record I have left, as the mount was lost in a fire so many years ago.

I took this Maryland buck in 1971 when I was thirteen years old, with a Pumpkin Ball slug fired off the bead of my Remington 1100 shotgun. It could not have been a more beautiful, crisp, November morning in that wonderful land of whitetails. It was a fine shot too, for it is not so easy to make a fifty yard shot with that equipment. I was more than thrilled, and I don’t think anyone could have wiped the smile off of my face for several days.

I can recall almost every detail of that scene to this day, and I don’t mind revisiting it periodically in my mind. Obviously, it is not the biggest whitetail buck ever harvested, but it may as well have been, at least to me. Why it was as big as the world.

I hope that you have a memory like this in your box of experiences, and if not, may you get one soon.

Long live the white-tailed deer…

You Can read the full story HERE

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

The front cover of dustjacket of The Whitetail Deer Guide: A Practical Guide To Hunting... by Ken Heuser
A Lifetime of Learning

For Sale:

The Whitetail Deer Guide-A Complete, Practical Guide to Hunting America’s Number One Big Game Animal

by Heuser, Ken

Hard cover. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York (1972)
Very good in very good dust jacket. xii, 208 p. : illus.; 22 cm. Includes Illustrations.

$9.95 plus $4 shipping (in U.S.)

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Buck Fever In The Modern Age of Deer Hunting

A Young Wisconsin Whitetailed Deer Hunter reacts to missing a buck...by Pulling His Hat Over His Head and Texting On His Phone.
Maybe I Can Text In Another Deer

 By Michael Patrick McCarty

Apparently, the proper thing to do these days when you miss a deer is to quickly cover your head with your hunting hat and reach for your nearby smartphone. Or at least this young Wisconsin hunter thought so.

Can you say buck fever?

buck fe·ver

noun

NORTH AMERICANinformal

 nervousness felt by novice hunters when they first sight game.

 Not to fret, young deer huntress (yes, this is a young lady here). We’ve all been there, some more than once, whether we will admit it or not.

 And to think, in my day you simply froze in complete, unmitigated panic until the animal walked off,  and then hung on to the nearest limb with all of your arms and legs and with everything you had for an hour or more.

So you did not fall out of your treestand… As if your life depended on it…Because if you were high enough in the tree, it probably did.

 At least that’s what I’ve heard…

You?

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 “He grouped his last five shots right in the center of the bull’s-eye. Then I showed him my technique of scattering shots randomly around the target because, as I explained, you never know which way the deer might jump just as you pull the trigger.” — Patrick McManus, The Hunting Lesson, February 1983

 

One That Did Not Get Away

 

Mark Miller from Mauston,  Wisconsin and a deer of a lifetime. I don’t know if he had any buck fever, but there is certainly no ground shrinkage here!

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Buck Fever In The Modern Age of Deer Hunting

The Bowhunting Looks To Be Good In Virginia

Congratulations to the Virginia bowhunting contingent. We can’t wait to see what you turn up next.

 

A hunter poses with a trophy white-tailed deer. This buck was taken in Virginia during the archery season.
A Buck To Hold Onto. Jeff McManus with His Virginia Bowhunting Dream Buck.

 

Cay McManus, Championship Archer, poses with her latest virginia bowhunting whitetail buck.
One More, of Many. Cay McManus With Her 2015 Buck

 

A woman bowhunter poses with a doe white-tailed deer taken with archery equipment in the Virginia hardwoods.
Whitetail Steaks Tonight! Cay McManus Knows How To Get It Done.

 

-Cay McManus is a World Class Archer (literally). She has won the Indoor World Championship one time, and the World Outdoor Championship 5 times.

She has also won The National Field Archery Championship in various categories a total of 33 times, a record for any woman archer. As she said to me recently, would you like to help me dust some championship bowls?

It is an amazing accomplishment in any sport. As you can see, she knows her way around the deer woods too!

Rock On!

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty