June 26 10:54 PM
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Quit crying about how bad your deer hunting is!

Dear Woods-N-Water News:

I have read more (I will call hunters) for lack of a more useless word; complain about deer hunting in this great state of Michigan. I have lived and hunted most of my life in the state of Ohio, but have lived and hunted in Michigan too. I hear all these crybabies complain about not being able to bait.

I have never baited and I most definitely have taken my fair share of whitetail deer in both Michigan and Ohio. I started hunting in 1968 and have only failed to score once in all those years. I hunt mostly with my bow and 98 percent of the deer I have taken have come off "state land" not "private!"

There are by far way more deer in the state of Michigan than Ohio, hands down. I have lived in Oscoda and Rice Creek and I can remember seeing not 10 or 20 deer but hundreds of deer daily in both areas. One opening day I had 19 bucks within 30 yards of my treestand without ever drawing the bow back, because I scouted beforehand and I knew there were deer in the area. I know of two deer taken in a two mile square that are hanging on the wall over 200" from the same area. My point is criers and whiners will always be criers and whiners. But hunters will always be hunters. If you are not seeing animals, look elsewhere. You have to have animals in an area to see them. But just putting out bait does not mean they will come to you.

Be grateful for the whitetail population you have. Learn how to scout and more importantly, learn how to hunt. Being in the woods for eight days a season does not a hunter make. I hunt every single hour I have available to me. Rain, snow, wind or sunshine, I put 10 to 12 hours per day in the treestand three or more days each week throughout the season until I score on my "single buck only" tag in Ohio. Ohio recently started an extra doe tag during "archery only season." This does not mean you can get one buck during archery, another during gun season and yet another during muzzleloader season, or even an extra buck with more points during any of those seasons.

Too many hunters want too much without giving anything back in return. You pay less for a deer tag as a resident than I do for a regular hunting license in Ohio, not including what I have to pay for a deer tag. I am not complaining, hunting is not, nor will it ever be a given. You only get out of it what you put into it. Not what you take from what you think you are entitled to take because you bought a hunting license. Quit crying about how bad your deer hunting is!

Deer Hunter

Rick Rife

June 23, 2010

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