I couldn’t hunt this weekend due to family obligations, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t on my mind. Most hunters with families tend to put them first, which is a good thing. Luckily, I’ve found some great ways to feed the obsession while not in the field. I keep my eye out for deer while we’re driving around town, daydream about bowhunting in urban areas, and follow the exploits of other hunters on Twitter and MWT Forums.
This year Field & Stream gave me a great idea for another way to combine my hunting obsession with family time: the 2012 Pumpkin Contest. So I spent an afternoon carving jack o’ lanterns with my wife and daughter.
A couple of hours later I had a tray full of pumpkin seeds set out to dry, and my favorite pumpkin carving ever: a whitetail buck and doe outlined against the moon. It was all done with a carving knife and a corn cob holder. I like the scene because it nicely encapsulates bowhunting whitetails in the pre-rut season. We bowhunters are mostly obsessed with locating mature bucks. Those bucks, in turn, are mostly obsessed with keeping tabs on the does.
So it follows that if we want to find bucks, we should figure out where the does are.
Whitetail Buck Pumpkin Designs
Speaking of bucks, in the course of my research I came cross a number of great pumpkin carving designs that I wasn’t able to use.
|The coolest and most ambitious design: a bowhunter shooting a mature buck.||A scary-looking whitetail deer skull. What is that, a 12-pointer?||This more innocent design is kid friendly which parents might appreciate.||The lowered head of a challenging buck. Love it!|
|The whitetail hunter’s trophy, a simple enough design to do.||Another version of the scary whitetail skull… far fewer points to carve.||Three very nice bucks together in a field. Love this image; wish I had the guts to carve it.||A simpler but picturesque buck design.|
Why Hunters Should Enter
Looking through some of the carving entries from previous years, it looks like competition will be tough. Not all of the entries are deer-related or even hunting-related; hard as it is to believe in the pre-rut season, there are other sports covered by Field & Stream. Even so, I’m hoping that we hunters can put in a good showing. Treat it like practice for field dressing game.
I don’t mean to offend anyone by this next statement, but if the winner of this year’s contest is a fly fisherman or something, I’m going to be very disappointed in all of us.