An Open Letter to Casual Deer Hunters

Dear casual deer hunters,

I’ve been thinking about you for some time and have only now distilled my bewilderment into one succinct question:


I mean, really? How can you “maybe try to get out this year”? This year? More like this weekend! Maybe I’ll eat next week. Also, I’m thinking about breathing tomorrow around 4 pm.

I’m being sarcastic, but still.

For clarity’s sake, let’s set aside the busy, the broke, the infirmed, and the incarcerated. Everyone else, what’s going on? How can you be only mildly interested in deer hunting? How does this pursuit not consume you?

I’m asking these questions because I truly don’t know. It’s not just a clever setup for an article.

From time spent in nature to the exhilaration of occupying the same space as a wary buck in bow range watching steam unfurl from his nostrils, the entire pursuit is an intoxicant. Compound that with the marksmanship required for a successful kill and the delicious protein-rich bounty thereafter, it’s literally all good.

Perhaps you have other passions in life that supersede hunting, but what could they be? Wingsuit pilot? Africanized bee apiarist? Please tell me it’s something more exciting than deer hunting.

Wait…do you have interests?

Maybe I’m projecting too much of myself and my addictive personality onto you. Maybe you prefer to audit pursuits as opposed to digging in to understand and master all facets. Maybe good enough is truly good enough.

If that’s the case, I’m beginning to understand a bit…although I think you’re missing out on a world of excitement, and I’m wondering if you’re doing it right.

My first year seriously bowhunting as an adult was filled with all-day sits in the stand without seeing a single deer. Literally 13 hour early-season hunts where absolutely nothing would walk by. I could see how someone might throttle their time spent hunting if that was their only frame of reference.

Are you concerned you might actually kill something and not know how to process it correctly and make yourself sick? Butchering a deer isn’t as easy as Bisquick pancakes, but it sure isn’t rocket science either. You can even take it to a processor.

So, my mind is open right now to the possibilities but you need to help me understand. How can you be so casual when it comes to deer hunting?


P.S. You can call if you’d prefer, but if it’s during daylight hours, it’ll likely go to voicemail.


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