When John and I sold “Los Quernos” 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 into Clint Schroeder, owner or 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
Mar 4, 2004
Most kinds of hunting involve a lot of waiting. The best thing about this fact is that the waiting is mostly done in some very pleasant places — autumn woods, near stock tanks in dove season, and in blinds on the bays, rice fields and river bottoms frequented by waterfowl, for a few examples.
Feb 26, 2004
There is solid archeological evidence that deer antlers have always fascinated humans. Even tens of thousands of years ago, back in Paleolithic times, antler material was used not only for tools but also as the medium for artistic engravings and carvings, some of which probably had religious significance in that culture.
Feb 12, 2004
It’s a fair question. When I loaded my first cartridge, back in the early ’50s, properly assembled handloads beat factory ammo on every count. The homemade product was cheaper, more reliable, usually more accurate, commonly more powerful and flatter shooting, more versatile, and could use much superior bullets for whatever the task at hand. The only things going for factory ammo were convenience and savings of time.
Feb 5, 2004
The hunter gripped his rifle in sweaty hands, facing the crouching lion only 30 yards away. Suddenly the animal launched his charge in deadly silence. The man with the gun knew he had only four or five seconds to stop that yellow ball of fangs and claws ... (no, wait! an African lion in full charge covers 30 yards in only half that much time. Maybe it was a grizzly ... yeah, they’re not quite as fast as a lion) ... to stop that half-ton of silvertip fury.
Jan 29, 2004
Faulty range estimation may cause more misses by experienced riflemen at big game than any other single factor.
Jan 22, 2004
This is the prime time of year for calling predators. The carnivores are lean and winter-hungry, and young varmints from last year will fall all over themselves trying to get to a squealing-rabbit call. A little later on, as the females get closer to whelping time, they get harder to fool, but for now, calling can be exciting sport.
Jan 8, 2004
Last week we spoke of aging whitetail deer on the hoof. This week we find out how to tell whether we were right last week.
Jan 1, 2004
Most of my hunting friends and I regard any old buck as a trophy buck, regardless of antler size. The reason is that any buck that has survived four or more hunting seasons has obviously developed all the hunter-evasion skills and is just as hard to get a shot at as one with a Boone & Crockett rack. Taking him in fair chase, then, is just as challenging and worthy of pride and admiration as collecting 200-point head.
Dec 25, 2003
Many are the changes in deer hunting that I’ve seen in my 60 years of chasing whitetails.
Dec 18, 2003
If Santa Claus is slated to bring a youngster in your house a real firearm for Christmas, stop and give a little thought to what it means.