Categorized | Opinion

Youth Deer Season

By Josh McGowan

Oh the serenity of Mark Twain’s forest, nestled in a ground blind on a hillside above a zigzagging gully in a deafening silence, surrounded by dry leaves six inches thick, with a gentle, precarious breeze swirling about. God’s creation in all its’ luster, it just puts a calming peace in your soul, and reminds us exactly why we cherish the great outdoors so much. Now enter a seven year old boy with four layers of clothes that sound like they’re made from a blend of polyester, bubble wrap and aluminum foil, so much for serenity!

I wanted my son to have the same wonderful experiences I remember, having to “rough it” in a camp in the woods, no electricity, running water, or proper facilities, but that would mean I would have to put myself through the same “wonderful experience”, so as is the case with fathers and sons, he got it a lot easier than I did!

Since we were hunting within a few miles of Current River in Van Buren, Missouri, the only logical lodging for three rugged hunters, (myself, my son, and my stepdad/buddy Perry Jackson) was The Landing, the nicest resort along that beautiful, crystal clear river that cuts through the dense forest. I’ve been there many times in the summer while floating the river, but it’s a completely different atmosphere in the fall. We had the gravel beach mostly to ourselves, outside of a few friendly fishermen out gigging for suckers (that’s another story), and we kept a fire going at night under a big November moon. The “off-season” rates were significantly lower than during their busy months, the rooms were immaculate, and walking out the door on a balcony overlooking the river was worth every penny! The Landing offers the nicest lodging in the area, floating trips, houses The Blue Heron restaurant (the finest of fine dining along the river) with chef Bobby King at the helm, and has an incredible multi-purpose event center in The River Centre, that you really have to see to believe. For a look at the layout go to www.eatsleepfloat.com or give them a call at 573-323-8156, you won’t be disappointed!

I suppose if measuring a hunting trip’s success by the amount of game you take and venison you bring home, we failed, but time in the woods passing on knowledge and sharing experiences with my favorite little outdoorsman was more fun than bagging any trophy. We had a ton of action thanks to our guide and resident “PaPa” Perry, and plenty of opportunities, we just couldn’t find that perfect shot. I titled this week’s column “Part 1” though, because we aren’t done with this year’s season.

Another young hunter that has a bit more experience in the field bagged a nice buck during Tennessee’s youth season. 14 year old Brady Scherer killed his 3rd deer on his PaPa’s (Coach Dick Atwill) farm on Sunday morning around 8:15. The buck came out of the woods around 15 yards from his stand and Brady put his 30-30 to work, killing a nice 7-point buck that field dressed 130 lbs! Brady’s little brother Jayse was hunting with his dad Chris and seen some deer but couldn’t get a good shot. They had a great time spending time in the great outdoors with their friends and family at PaPa Atwill’s farm and wanted to thank him for the experience.

In an update to the story, since Tennessee’s youth season was two weekends ago, Brady’s younger brother Jayse, age 9, took his first deer this past weekend in Missouri’s youth season in southeast Missouri.

The bucks are beginning to chase does and although opening weekend for adult gun season is going to be warm, the lack of food due to the drought should keep the deer moving and Missouri and Tennessee should have a good harvest.

All area lakes reporting catching a ton of fish, nothing changed on Reelfoot  with vertical jigging stumps still being highly effective. Both Kentucky and “Wap” were very productive over the weekend as well.

Get more information and see all the pictures and videos at www.joshgowanoutdoors.com.

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