Thursday, January 7, 2010


It's official - Indiana deer season is now closed.  The late archery season ended on Sunday, January 3.  In an earlier post I shared a few photographs from the 2009 season.  While looking around for some turkey images, I ran across a folder with several deer photos from years past, and thought I'd share a few.  Some day I'll scan in some images from the pre-digital camera era, if for no other reason than to prove that I once had a full head of hair!  Note: The photo comes first, the year/hunter/story after.

2007 - Archery: Randy Dickson (that's me)
This deer doesn't carry the biggest rack, but he did have great mass and was 5.5 years old (by tooth wear and replacement criteria).  He also happened to be HUGE of body.  We didn't have a way to weigh him, but I've killed 3 bucks that dressed over 200 lbs, and this one was far bigger than any of those.  He also had a really cool hole in the back of his right main beam, with the beam being porous way out toward the tip. 

2008 - Archery: Eric Sampson
Eric killed this deer while hunting with me in northern Indiana's Marshall County.  The buck nets right at 140, which is awfully solid for an 8-pointer.  As you can see, the deer had great mass throughout.  While we were taking pictures, my brother called to tell me he'd just shot a buck with his bow......keep reading!

2008 - Archery: Rick Dickson
Ricky shot this deer late in the morning, approaching noon, well after most guys have normally left the woods.  This is proof positive that when you're hunting good habitat in early-November, all-day sits should be the norm.  This deer grossed in the mid-160s.  He was absolutely worn out from chasing does - skin and bones - but his antlers didn't shrink any!

2001 - Archery: Randy Dickson
I killed this buck mid-afternoon on November 7 (my favorite day to be in a stand). He was with a doe that was coming into estrus, but hadn't quite made it yet.  After pushing her around, out of range, for nearly 2 hours, the doe finally walked past my stand.  He wasn't so lucky!  It was nearly 70 degees that day - don't let a little thing like warm weather keep you from hunting (especially when the rut is kicking in).

2005 - Archery: Rick Dickson
A good, clean harvest of a nice 3.5 year old buck.  My brother has since learned to pass these 120 inch bucks up - I'm not quite there yet!

2002 - Shotgun: Wally Palmer
This buck came out of standing corn to a ground blind set-up Wally had on opening day of the 2002 Indiana firearm season.  The buck was approaching Wally's decoy, with bad intentions, when Wally sealed the deal.  This is one of those deer that proves net score doesn't always measure the quality of a buck.

2003 - Archery: Randy Dickson
This is by no means a monster deer.  But that's a monster smile on the face of my nephew, Brandon.  I settled into a fresh stand at 12:30 p.m. on a cool early-November afternoon.  By 1:00 p.m. I was walking out, having heard this buck "crash up" in standing corn boardering the woodlot where I'd just shot him.  Talk about quick!  When I drove to dad's to see if he'd give me a hand, my brother and nephew happened to be there.  It was great to have 3 generations of Dickson deer hunters go make the recovery!

2008 - Shotgun: Baleigh Dickson
And in the air of saving the best for last, this is my niece with her first-ever deer.  She killed it on opening day of the '08 Indiana firearm season.  It was a perfect double-lung shot at 40 yards, and the buck piled up in the thick stuff about 30 yards from where he was standing when Baleigh let fly.  The buck was a heavy-based 2-year old 9-point, and as the smile shows, Baleigh was happy to take him.  And the best part of all (for me) was that I got to be in the tree with her when she pulled the trigger!  The smile behind the camera was as big as the one in front of it!

There you are - a few of the deer that helped make the memories that drive me, my family, and friends back to the deer woods each fall.  If you aren't part of the grand deer hunting fraternity, you probably don't understand why we cherish these moments so much!

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