John Wootters

"Mr. Whitetail"

Hunting

A Cautionary Tale

Jan 1, 2012

Originally Published In Leupold's Hunting Adventures

Be warned: This is not just a fond reminiscence about a long-ago hunt. It's a tale of success and failure. It began badly and ended badly. But, in between, oh, in between there was one unforgettable, shining moment when I steadied crosshairs on the shoulder of a splendid Stone ram and caressed the trigger.

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.

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.

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.

The Oldest Buck

Oct 30, 2008

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

If a whitetail buck has grown to maturity in a hunted pasture, I think he deserves the title of "trophy" regardless of the size of his antlers.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

It's a little sad that almost everything written about African Hunting features the great dangerous game, the "Big Five" (ie. lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros). I say "sad" because there are so many other fascinating species of game in Africa that present a very real sporting challenge to a hunter.

Buck Fever

Apr 10, 2008

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

The dread malady named in the title occurs most frequently with neophyte hunters, often on their first hunt, and appears when they first see - or more particularly, when they first try to shoot - a game animal.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

In 1953 I was in the Army, assigned to the Eighth Army Headquarters Public Information Office in Yongsan, Korea, a suburb of the ruined capitol city of Seoul. My job got me out and about the Korean countryside quite a bit, and, being the hunter I am, I couldn’t help noticing the hordes of ringneck pheasants infesting the rice paddies.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Ahunting magazine editor once remarked to me: “Moose are boring!” This offended me a little, seeming to disrespect a game animal that had lost his life. I could hardly argue because at that time I hadn’t hunted moose, but I’d hunted other game in moose country and had found them interesting and impressive animals.

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