I hunted from 14-18 years old(4-13 just watching dad)… Then with the MIL/College/moving around I went 10 years without hunting. My last 2 years in TN a friend of a friend got me back into it. Since moved back to MI and have been hunting here for now 5 years.
I hunt bow, rifle and muzzleloader… Depending on what might be on camera or if we need the meat. Because of the quality of meat I’m willing to spend more$/lb than any other meat! The kids hunt with me but must watch until they can do it on their own. Absolutely NO youth hunting for them.
Usually harvest 0-2 a year for me personally.
We eat venison, give some to immediate family and if we stocked up then we’ll only keep hunting if we’ve got a big one around and donate all the meat to the local food pantry or church.
We’ve done all kinds of hunting over the years. Sitting near a heavy runway on a stump, bow stand or brush blind; sitting in a blind, pop-up, bow stand or brush blind over bait; or doing and end of season deer drive. Now, with the increase in CWD and band on baits in our area we put in some food plots and planted apple and oak trees-which will take a while to produce.
My favorite part about hunting is getting away from everyday life for a few hours at a time and sitting in peace with nature. Seeing how beautiful it really is! Studying all animals and their behaviors towards their own species or others. And seeing how they act during different times, moon phases, prerut, rut, temperatures, weather etc… Also, seeing how deer grow from year to year with a big help from trailcams which make it easy to compare bucks and some does with unique markings.
We have our own antler restriction: 4 or more on one side and 3.5 years unless it’s a big 2.5 and difficult to tell… Any doe that’s been dry for 2 years… If we get nothing in October/November then we can take a doe from one of the more densely populated deer areas we hunt.