New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Didya get ya deera yet?

Wednesday 11/17/2010

This is "the season" for NH hunters like me. Most greetings from my friends start with "Did you get your deer yet?". Not hello or how are you. Deer hunting remains a strong tradition in the Granite state and I so enjoy being part of this tradition. Much talk is "deer talk" asking not only if you got a deer but what have you and your hunting friends seen for sign in the woods. In other words, not so much what you have been up to, but what are the deer up to. So signs of where and what deer are feeding on and are there signs of buck activity, called scrapes, where the bucks paw the ground bare and marks them. Deer talk permeates pretty much what other events may be happening this time of year. It's funny that even most of the non-hunters I meet this time of year pose the same "Did you get your deer yet question?". Deer hunting remains such and important part of what NH means to so many people this time of year. Folks still connected to the land even if only to know that it is deer season.

And yes I did luck out this year. And the very best part of it all was I got to share several days of hunting with my son and helped my life-long friend Rick cut up his deer. And to top it off both my son and Rick came to my rescue Monday afternoon after I had shot my deer late in the day and discovered I had lost my flashlight just before dark, and before I could track my deer. Within a half hour my son had climbed out of his stand elsewhere in town and Rick, who I had just helped cut up his deer that after noon, came rushing to my aide flashlights in hand. A half hour of tracking a sporadic blood trail in the dark led us to my doe. And then they both took turns helping me drag the deer the next half hour to my truck. Life does not get any better than having your son and best friend of 50 years at a moment like that. I'm sure we will relive it time and time again. And we will all be cutting up my deer soon, more time connecting us and to our environment.

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