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This weekend I was hunting in southern Ohio. I can say that it was a lot of fun, I was able to see me dad (my parents recently separated and my dad has moved to a 600 acre farm, with hunting rights, lucky me), saw a lot of deer 30-40, and had good weather for the most part. Even though I am younger I make a conscience effort every fall no matter where I am hunting, to treat the sport I get to enjoy with respect, as well as do my part in ensuring that myself, my fellow hunters, and the in some cases the land owner have an enjoyable experience. I didn't kill a deer this weekend, but in scouting the farm came across a deer carcass which was missing the head. I couldn't explain the sinking feeling in my stomach, there are so many things that cross your mind when encountering something like that. I immediately wondered about the size of the deer's antlers (obviously significant enough to remove), how he had met his demise, and who would do such a dumb thing. I am very real when it comes to what all goes on in the woods, I have grown up in the sticks of southern Ohio and have heard stories of shooting deer at night, and out of season, and all sorts of other illegal activities. So I know it happens but, it was right in front of me, that’s what was most disappointing. The deer had a big body, and was all wasted. As far as I know my father and I are the only ones who have permission to hunt the farm. When I told my dad what I had found he too was somewhat frustrated and disappointed that a good deer was lost that way. Being a new tenant my dad called the land owner and explained what had just happened, I found his response most disheartening. He explained that that sort of things happens around his farms all the time; he said three or four deer get found at some point in the season between several of the farms he owns. He went onto explain that our farm was one of nine that spans 2300 acres, 836 of which are wooded in the area. So nine land owners/tenants for the whole lot, he said the reality is that people know they can drive thru the area at dusk with a rifle (which aren't legal to shoot deer with Ohio) to find the green hay fields filling up with deer, and take their pick of some pretty nice bucks.

It just irritates me that people are that disrespectful, and they know it but don't care. Some farmer is paying tax on that land 365 days a year, and he wants to go out hunting and not run into someone on the property HE owns! Is it really a lot to ask, but apparently a tax isn't enough, they have to tolerate poaching and property damage too. I know there a lot of good hunters out there that share my frustrations, and do a lot of the same things I do to keep our sport's reputation as clean as we can, I just wanted to say that I hope all our honest efforts are rewarded! Good luck hunting to all you bow hunters this fall, hope you all have a blast and fill your freezer!
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