With the close of Ohio’s 2012-2013 whitetail deer season, I would like to take the time to look back and reflect on my season. It was a season of mostly highs. Not only was I able to harvest some great animals but I had great “rookie” season as a guide and outfitter.
Before starting however, I would like to thank my very understanding wife that puts up with my hunting addiction. Without her love and constant support, I could not have done what I accomplished in 2012. Now, lets get started looking back.
My season started in South Dakota with a impromptu mule deer hunt. I say impromptu because this was not a “planed hunting trip”, this was actually a family destination vacation. I was there to vacation in Custer, S.D. watching The Great Buffalo Round-Up in Custer State Park and to visit Mount Rushmore with my family.
Sneaking away on a D.I.Y. archery mule deer hunt was a very last minute modification to the vacation. During the nine-teen hour drive from Ohio to South Dakota, I called the South Dakota game commission, gathered information on hunting opportunities/locations, then stopped and bought a over the counter tag in Pierre, S.D. From then on, it was game time! I vacationed for 7 days and was able to slip away and harvest a great mule deer in only 3 days of hunting. If you have not seen the footage from this hunt, it can be seen here.
It goes with out saying, spot and stalk mule deer is fast becoming my favorite hunting scenario and game species. Staying mobile, glassing and miles of boot leather make for a very active hunt. I find it to be a mixture of turkey hunting “run and gun style ” with a deer hunting spin. It is an absolute blast!
Also, I must add that the state of South Dakota offers tremendous hunting opportunity at a very reasonable price. The amount of public hunting land that exist in S.D. is mind blowing! For anyone looking for such a hunt, feel free to contact me for information. As I write this, I am applying for a Colorado Mule Deer Tag but If my draw there is unsuccessful, South Dakota may very well be in my calendar again for this September.
After returning home from vacation, I immediately transferred into full blown, whitetail deer hunting mode. I stayed busy hanging stands and making the final preparations for the first hunters of Booner’s Acres history, as well as, preparations for my own hunting.
I’ll be honest, the 2 weeks between October 27th and November 10th was a very exhausting time for me. Stratagizeing to kill a buck for multiple people, for many consecutive days, and most days being unsuccessful,really wears on a hunters confidence. Make no mistake about it, I had a great time and the experience of guiding hunters was everything I wanted it to be and more but it did not come with out its struggles and some controversy.
On, October 31st Halloween morning I was able to harvest a buck I called THE SHOCKER. The main frame 9 point with triple brow tines made a bad decision and moved mid-moring scent checking some does that had past my tree stand earlier that morning. I made a bad shot on THE SHOCKER, hitting him in the stomach but was able to recover him the next day and capture the entire hunt on video. That hunt can be seen here called -The Shocker Falls
As mentioned earlier, I was somewhat cast onto a slippery slope harvesting THE SHOCKER. Some may wonder (and many did) how I could harvest a buck while having paying, guided clients in camp and not feel guilty about it? But as with most outfitters I know, I am a very serious deer hunter and it should come to no surprise, that I have deer and properties that are off limits to paying customers.
The Shocker was one such deer and property off limits to paying clients. The hunters I had in camp were made well aware of the separation of properties and understood fully. I think my successful hunt only added to their experience.
As for the Booner’s Acres hunters in 2012, all were all great people! Its amazing how when people come from different walks of life, many have different views and experiences that mold them. That is one thing I learned this year and will be forever cemented into my memory. Meeting so many new faces made me a better hunter and person. I learned a lot form my hunters and I hope I taught something about mature buck behavior and my hunting style. Although they did not harvest any mature deer, I think all hunters left camp happy, fat and hoping to return someday. Thanks for making 2012 such a great year Paul, Bob, Dave and Brian!
In closing, I look forward to 2013 and hope that you will continue to follow me here at Trophy Pursuit. Who knows what lies ahead for me, but I hope you follow along in my hunt that never ends.
I would also like to send send out a big congratulations and thank you to my many friends that harvested great bucks in 2012. Many hours were spent with each talking deer hunting strategies and making memories in the field. Thank you so much for for taking me along with you and sharing your season with me and making my 2012 more memorable.