I grew up in the era before tree stands, camouflage, and deer calls. When deer season came, we tracked deer from dawn until dark. It was not only great fun, but also a great lesson in life. Do a kid a favor and put him on a set of tracks. Tell him not to come back until he kills the deer or it gets dark. If he comes back wide-eyed and excited, he’ll be a hunter for life. If he comes back bored and resentful, you can always buy the kid a set of golf clubs.
I can’t blame hunters for giving up tracking and heading for the trees. Tree stand hunting is, without a doubt, the most effective way to harvest big deer. Tracking can be physically and mentally exhausting; it’s a blend of optimism and desperation. Tracking is the most exciting and rewarding way to harvest deer. The thrill of killing a buck out of a tree pales in comparison to the thrill of following a track and taking a buck face-to-face, on his own terms. It is a joy that is unbelievable.