John Wootters

"Mr. Whitetail"


The West Kerr Current is a weekly, family owned newspaper that has been serving Ingram, Hunt, Mountain Home and the Divide since 2003.

When John and I sold “Los Cuernos” Ranch in South Texas we settled in the Texas Hill Country. We named our place “Chital Ridge” after the local Axis deer who share the ranch. John took his resume in to Clint Schroeder, owner of the local West Kerr Current because he wanted to keep writing. Clint said he couldn’t afford him and John replied that he didn’t ask to be paid! Between October of 2003 and 2013 John wrote over 400 stories. I am thrilled to share some of them here.

John said these weekly columns were some of his most enjoyable work. No pressure, no one dictating what he wrote about, just fun stories about what was on his mind and in his heart. ENJOY! Jeanne Wootters January 2019

Originally Published In West Kerr Current Hunting Guide 2011

For me the most exciting time of any day of hunting comes just before daybreak. I call it "waiting for shooting light". Dawn is only a hint of pink to the east, and it takes its own sweet time in arriving.

A Routine Bear Hunt?

Mar 4, 2010

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

You sit, all alone, in the deep north woods of Manitoba, Canada. The hush of dusk accumulates around your shoulders like a black fog. The sun is going. Shadows stretch and slide silently across the ground like disembodied live things, not quite corporeal.

Hunting Horsemanship

Feb 25, 2010

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Jack O'Connor, that legendary guns-and-hunting guru of Outdoor Life Magazine, once said of horseback hunting, "Never forget that a horse is almost as powerful as a bulldozer, with about the same amount of brains." He was right about horse power, but way out in left field about equine IQs.

The Long Shot

Aug 20, 2009

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

A race horse going off at 100-to-1 odds is a "Long Shot." So is a natural royal flush, as are many other risky enterprises that don't fulfill their promise. And so is sending a pointed metal cylinder weighing less than half an ounce through several hundred yards of turbulent, moving air to strike a game animal's vitals.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

It came as a shock to me, as I browsed a recent issue of Sports Afield Magazine ( for which I used to write occasionally ), to notice the red lechwe listed as one of the most endangered antelopes in Africa. The reason for my surprise was that on my visits to Botsawana's great Okovango delta in 1974, 1976 and 1987, the red lechwe was arguably the most abundant antelope present.

Jeannie's First Buck

Jun 11, 2009

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Many male friends have told me how lucky I am to have a wife who understands and enjoys hunting. Judge my "luck" for yourself.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Several comments have appeared recently in Texas outdoor publications about the ever growing numbers of wild hogs in our state. Reading between the lines, you'll notice that the writers' attitudes toward the pigs seem somewhat conflicted.

The Best Catfish

Apr 30, 2009

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

The story is told in East Texas about the notorious noodler who showed up one Saturday afternoon on the Crockett town square, very excited. "Noodling is sort of like arm-wrestling a big fish barehanded."

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Birdwatchers - or "birders", as we prefer to call ourselves - come in several flavors. There are the little old ladies (LOLs), Bird Identifiers, and the "Listers."

What about Pronghorn?

Dec 11, 2008

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Every hunter has his favorite game animals. The pronghorn antelope of the western prairies is not mine. He can't hold a candle to a whitetail buck for IQ, and his is one of the very few North American wild meats that I don't like.

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