Days GON By November 2017
Each month we turn back the clock to see what was being reported in the pages of GON, 30, 20 and 10 years ago. Here’s a look back at what appeared in GON.
30 Years Ago: November 1987
Buck Rattling Tactics With Ben Lee: GON was taking a look at a “revolutionary new tool that brings rattling into the realm of possibility for any deer hunter.” The Sparrin’ Sac was advertised as an easy way for deer hunters to rattle up a buck without actually needing physical antlers. The Sparrin’ Sac was being manufactured in Perry, and one of its biggest proponents was well-known turkey caller and big-game hunter Ben Rogers Lee. GON sat down with Ben for an interview about rattling. Hunters today may find it interesting what such a legend in the hunting industry had to say even 30 years ago.
“In most situations I’ll rattle once for about a minute and then wait for five minutes to see if a buck will come on in,” said Ben. “I’ll continue rattling for a minute or two every five minutes or so for about a half hour. If I’ve had no response by that time, I’ll probably move a couple of hundred yards before trying again.
“I generally begin by rolling the Sparrin’ Sac between my hands. That simulates the grinding action of two bucks pushing each other around. I try not to get too loud for fear there might be a buck close by already. If I don’t get a response in just a few minutes, I’ll slap the Sparrin’ Sac with one hand, which simulates two bucks rushing at each other. After a couple of slaps, I’ll follow that with a minute or so of grinding. I may also grunt gently a few times after rattling. I don’t think you can rattle or grunt too much.
“I’ve had more luck rattling, especially in the Southeast, in clearcuts where the cover is dense and above the deer’s head. They like to stay in the thickets and don’t like to come out in the open as much as they do in the Southwest.
“Deer are naturally curious animals. Remember when you were in school and two kids started a fight out on the playground? Everyone within ear shot would run to see what was going on. Deer react to rattling and calling the same way. Both bucks and does will come to the call even outside the rut.”
20 Years Ago: November 1997
Busted For 300 Pounds of Catfish: GON reported on an impressive DNR arrest after they busted a couple of guys for fishing big hoop nets on West Point.
DNR Cpl. John Kilgore and Ranger First Class Jim Bradfield had staked out a large hoop net that had been reported several days earlier near the dam.
At midnight, the officers could hear a boat coming. The boat was running without navigation lights and stopped 60 yards from the shore off a point where the officers were hidden.
Cpl. Kilgore left the stake-out area to retrieve a patrol boat, which was camouflaged 200 yards away in a nearby slough. Ranger Bradford worked his way down the bank toward the men in the boat. Bradford could hear the men talking and working with something in the boat.
By this time, Cpl. Kilgore had idled out into the lake in the patrol boat and then came down the lake on plane. He shined a spotlight on the boat with the two men. At the same time, Bradfield shined a flashlight on them from the bank. The rangers saw the men standing in the front of the boat drop the hoop net back into the water. Busted!
The next day 300 pounds of catfish were confiscated, and several more hoop nets were discovered.
10 Years Ago: November 2007
Deer In The House!: The first thing Matt Fox said as he watched a deer enter his house through a window was, “That ain’t good.”
The deer had been in his backyard in an Albany neighborhood and actually jumped through only one standard-sized window pane, somehow squeezing through an 8-inch by 10-inch space without even damaging the pane.
“The deer was spinning on our heart-pine floors. It couldn’t get a grip. Then it took off and disappeared toward the back of the house,” Matt said.
“I went into the house, shutting doors as I went. The deer was in the back bedroom, my daughter’s bedroom. It had cut its mouth on the glass, and there was blood just gushing. The deer started running back and forth through a bathroom that connected two bedrooms. There was blood on the walls, on the doors, everywhere. I finally got it shut in my son’s bedroom, and then I started calling everyone—the police, DNR, a vet. Finally after about 45 minutes, the police show up, and they were going to shoot it. I was like, ‘No. I don’t want a bullet hole in the wall.’ We finally coaxed and wrestled the deer out a door, and off it went.
“It was an entertaining insurance claim,” he said.