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Great Plains Connections: Deer Season

I love deer season to the point that it’s really all I can think about – I even dream about deer hunting, when I’m working I wish I was out deer hunting; every spare minute is spent in the field.

Opening weekend our son, grandson and son-in-law and two granddaughters head to the family farm for a weekend of white tailed deer hunting. This typically means that my opening weekend consists of spending time with the grand kids – they over rule any type of hunting, but they all still see plenty of hunting time. In our family deer hunting is one of those things we do together, we start them out at a young age and are fortunate enough to have a place to hunt.

Our son Dillon has hunted since he was old enough to walk and wants his son, Gabe to have the same opportunities to get out in the field, learn about nature and experience all that goes on in the natural world.

Our granddaughters live in the same city as us, which gives me ample opportunity to get them out in the field – they have both been hunting since they were a year old.

Lexus and Gabe deer hunti
Lexus and Gabe messing with their hats in the blind.

Granted when you take kids out hunting you shouldn’t really expect to fire your gun or bow, but spend quality time together and teach them about animals and the hunt. We work in shifts taking the kids out, this way when we do have the grand kids out hunting we all get a chance to shoot and put some meat in the freezer.

Just in case we are actually quiet enough to have a deer come close enough to shoot we bring along hearing protection – sometimes it’s a mad dash to get the ear muffs on, but protecting their hearing is a must.

Making the outing a fun-filled learning experience is the key to keep them coming back and wanting to do more each time we go. As they get older hopefully they will have the desire to enjoy the outdoors as much as the adults do.

After opening weekend I’m pretty much on my own to go hunting whenever I want, well, whenever I’m not working anyway.

This year I was hunting with my NEBRASKAland Magazine camera equipment, my .270 BAR and every  intention of pursuing at least a state citation-size buck.

I got some decent deer photos, and some that weren’t so great – but I saw some really cool things. Bald eagles were in flight and were bathing in the river, a mink was combing the river banks, crows were searching for their next meal and several deer made a grand appearance during the season.

I usually hunt for a big buck until the last couple days of the season then I focus on meat for the freezer. but after my experience this year, I have a new set of rules for the 2014 firearm season.

1) When seriously hunting leave my camera at home and 2)  I need a better scope for my rifle – or as I told my husband, Tom, I’m “scoping” with older age and am in dire need of a scope with more power.

Here’s the story. I’m in my blind, second to last day of the firearm season and I’m wanting a doe to put some meat in the freezer after a long week of hunting antlers. Of course I see none…the last day I finally see a nice big doe and what looks to be a decent buck coming across the river. I looked through my scope to check the deer out and while waiting for them to come closer, I proceeded to snap a round of shots off with my camera. I was zooming in on the photos I had just taken when my jaw hit the floor of the blind and I said a few words that I cannot repeat on this blog site – the decent buck I just photographed was a big buck, a nice buck, a buck that would’ve looked great on my wall. By the time I put my camera down and grabbed my rifle to shoot they were gone, vanished, kaput!

The kicker is – my photos of this magnificent buck didn’t turn out the best.

In my defense the deer were a good 250 yards away when I shot the photos, which may have added to my vision problem as well.

So now I’m left pondering my deer season – I didn’t crack a shot with my trusty .270 and messed up a chance at a buck of a lifetime. After the shock wore off from my firearm experience I’m left with the muzzleloader season for another chance at a big buck. The question is – do I have the guts to leave my camera at home and can I see down the barrel of my open site Hawkins? Happy Hunting!

nice whitetailed deer
Here is the big buck I didn’t see through my scope…how did that happen?

About julie geiser

Julie Geiser is a Public Information Officer and NEBRASKAland Regional Editor based out of North Platte, where she was born and still happily resides. Geiser worked for the commission previously for over 10 years as an outdoor education instructor – teaching people of all ages about Nebraska’s outdoor offerings. She also coordinates the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program for Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). Geiser went on to work in marketing and writing an outdoor column for the North Platte Telegraph before returning to NGPC in her current position. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and getting others involved in her passions of hunting, fishing, camping, boating, hiking and enjoying Nebraska’s great outdoors.

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