Youth Deer Hunting
The annual East Central Ohio QDMA youth deer hunt is a weekend the landowners and community look forward to all year. Numerous disable kids are brought in and taught a variety of topics revolving around deer hunting. Fellowship is shared, laughs are had, and life long memories are made. The success of the weekend isn’t determined by the number of deer down, it’s the moments shared as these children are taught about the land and hunting. We can all agree that passing on our traditions is vital to the longevity of our sport, but the hurdle that some face is actually making the sacrifice and taking the time to do it. The East Central Ohio QDMA branch has done just that and is a fantastic example of something all of us should take the time to do.
The story of Rambler started in 2008 on a new farm in west-central Illinois. Without ever bowhunting it, we planted food plots based on locations we felt were good after looking at an aerial photo. After hunting it a couple times, we quickly learned the deer patterns and one buck in particular. No matter what stand we hunted, he would pass by every day. As a three year old, Rambler had a deformed left antler, but an impressive right antler. By looking at the deformed side, it was evident that it was not a genetic issue, but rather an injury that likely occurred during the velvet stage. In hopes of him making it through the rest of the season and not hurting his rack during growth, Rambler, despite numerous opportunities for shots, was allowed to pass.
Archery Elk Hunting
For many, hunting is a tradition that beings at an early age passed down from generation to generation.. For others, it’s picked up along the way through life. At the age of 70, Melvin Melton, was set to go on his first bow hunt. Not just any bow hunt either. After 11 years of applying, he was finally drawn for a coveted Arizona archery elk tag.
For anyone who has ever bowhunted elk, the terrain is rough, the miles are long, and harvesting a bull is an extreme challenge for hunters of any age. Melvin spent months preparing for the hunt by hiking the mountains and shooting his bow. At his age, he was as or even more prepared than any hunter half his age. The time spent preparing and the anticipation of his first hunt all came together as he harvested an awesome bull elk with his bow that green scored over 350 inches!
This week, we’re going back to 2007. Before the time of SLR’s and GoPro’s filming for multiple angles. It was mid-October in Ohio and Chuck and Casey were perched 20 foot up. The rest is a hunt they’ll never forget! Chuck snort wheezed at a 170+ inch buck and he proceeded to put on a show by working a scrape and making a rub. The deer, being mature, knew something wasn’t right, but after what seemed like an eternity, he finally let the arrow fly. The end result was an incredible Boone and Crockett Whitetail with a bow!
Quality Deer Management
Everyone has different reasons why they got into the outdoors and deer management. For some, it’s been a family tradition while for others it’s been learned along the way through trial and error. Landowners, leasers, and even college students can all practice it. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you are from, the Quality Deer Management philosophy is one that anyone can adopt. The main goal that brings all of us together as hunters and land managers is to be successful. The measure of that success is up to each and every individual. If that goal is a first buck, high five them. If that goal is shooting a larger deer than last year, high five them. If that goal is to shoot a 5 year old that scores more than 150″, high five them. Everyone has different goals while someone else’s might not be the same as yours, it’s still important to promote what we all love regardless of our differences.