John Wootters

"Mr. Whitetail"


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.

How it all Began

Apr 3, 2008

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Port Aransas waters had never seemed so dead as in the summer of 1950. I couldn't buy a bite anywhere . . . surf, piers, jetties, passes or bays. So I went to see Bill Ellis, the owner-in-residence of the historic Tarpon Inn.

NEW! The Old Bat

Sep 20, 2007

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

We’d all be better off if we were not only deer hunters, but also deerwatchers, in the same sense that some of us are birdwatchers. We watch birds to enjoy their beauty, grace and sprightliness. There is pleasure to be had from watching whitetail deer going about their daily lives, too, aside from looking for antlers.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

It's funny how an odor, a sound, or the ghost of a flavor can instantly transport one back to some earlier, fondly-remembered time. A few bars of some popular song from your highschool days can suddenly bring rushing back all the emotions, hopes, and sensations of your dating days.

NEW! One Crazy Turkey

May 31, 2007

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

We have no idea where she came from or how she found us, but a wild turkey hen simply walked into the yard of our ranch house in the brushlands of Webb County one day and adopted us. I named this bird “Mahonia.” I don’t recall why; that’s the scientific name of a prickly shrub common here in the Hill Country called “agarita.”

NEW! Raccoons Rampant

Dec 21, 2006

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Last July I devoted this column to a family of baby raccoons my wife and I befiiended at our home on Johnson Creek. I took pity on the four little guys and their gaunt mother, starving in the worst of the drought, and allowed them to share a little of the food put out for our cats.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Many hunters who snipe their deer from elevated stands seem to believe that elevation alone makes worrying about wind superfluous. (Those who don’t know enough to worry about wind direction and force anywhere, anytime, may stop reading right here, because what follows will probably only confuse them.)

NEW! Campfire Magic

Nov 23, 2006

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

The campfire is the heart of any hunting camp … and a camp isn’t a camp without one. Folks who hunt out of luxurious air-conditioned lodges or, worse yet, motels, are only to be pitied. The fire is common ground where all gather to share and comment on the day’s observations and adventures.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Since trophy hunters seem to be in low esteem among uninformed non-hunters, I cannot so identify myself without a word of explanation. First, true trophy-deer hunters are highly selective, discriminating and skilled hunters who kill very seldom and who help keep the age and sex ratios in a whitetail population as much like an unhunted herd as possible.

Originally Published In West Kerr Current

Few speakers of American English realize how many of our expressions can be traced back to firearms or their use. When we say a politician was a “flash in the pan,” for example, most of us have no idea of what a flash in the pan really is.

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