John Wootters

"Mr. Whitetail"


Voices of the Wild

May 15, 2008

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Most of us tend to take our sense of hearing for granted, at least until we miss hearing a beloved or meaningful sound ... the voice of a grandchild, the evening song of a mockingbird, or perhaps a musical composition that "takes us back."

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

For me, the end of deer season always signals the beginning of predator-calling season. January and February are the lean months, when victuals are scarce for all Nature’s critters. That makes the squeal of a wretched rabbit (or a reasonably good facsimile thereof) attractive to the meat-eaters.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Faulty range estimation may cause more misses by experienced riflemen at big game than any other single factor.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

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.

Rattling the Horns

Nov 20, 2003

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

No, I don’t mean the kind that makes you jump if you hear it in the grass around your feet; I mean the kind that makes big whitetail bucks run up to you and shake their racks at you.

Originally Published In Hunting

The first vocal sound I ever heard from a whitetail deer nearly ended my deer-hunting career before it was fairly begun, and thus almost drove me to take up honest work! It came from the throat of my first whitetail buck. I was a tender 13, hunting all alone, and the eight-pointer was very close. This was good; otherwise, I'd never have hit him, given the violent case of buck fever that shook me like a seismograph needle in a high-Richter earthquake. When I was finally able to make the rifle fire, the buck went down in a heap, spine-shot... and he bawled! It was a shocking, harsh, dragged-out sound, more like a yearling than a deer, and it horrified me. I could never stand making an animal suffer, and the bawl triggered a wave of remorse and guilt–until I realized that the buck couldn't be suffering, having given up the ghost at about the moment his bawl ended.

Originally Published In Petersen's Hunting

What has come to be called "horn rattling" (even though we Texans do know the difference between antlers and horns) has an interesting history–and an even more interesting present! Strange things happen when a fellow goes out and beats a pair of antlers together, if everything is right. If everything is wrong, of course, nothing happens, but when conditions are favorable, strange, wild, hilarious, and sometimes frustrating events come to pass.

1 of 1 pages (There are 7 tags/calls)