Letters To The Editor – August 2019

Reader Contributed | July 29, 2019

Lots Of Memories Made Deer Hunting In Last 40 Years

Dear GON,

These are my memories of more than 40 years of Georgia deer hunting.

I remember the year that DNR opened Georgia’s deer season in middle Georgia. I was a much younger man then, and there was a lot of excitement about having a deer season. Those early days were a learning experience for both the hunters and the deer. All of my buddies felt as I did about the new deer season, and it was exciting times.  I hunted that entire first year and saw nothing but one set of tracks.

Now at age 78, I am among a few who lived through those beginning times. I still try to hunt, but I no longer shimmy up skinny pine tress in the dark. I am more lightly to go to a ground blind and sit in a comfortable office chair that has been converted to a hunting chair. I think back on all of the hours I spent sitting in some tree stand, getting wet, freezing or hanging on for dear life in the high wind. There were times I would sit and think out problems in my life or just tune in to the woods.

I would never trade my years of deer hunting memories. All those years of deer hunting were more than just the hunt. I got to go places and see things I would never have seen otherwise.  Things such as a beautiful sunrise and watching the woods come awake at first light.  Looking down from  a high place on the sights below, hearing a hawk’s call, a turkey moving down the ridge, parking the truck in the dark woods before dawn, the anticipation of watching a hot scrape, and all of the natural things that go with the hunt are wonderful memories.

I realized that all along going deer hunting was more than just the hunt. I learned to love the outdoors and experience all the wonders of just being a part of the whole thing. Things like hiking in the mountains, watching the moon come up at sunset, feeling the fresh, clean air on a frosty morning, listening to all of the gunfire on opening day and wondering who was seeing all of the deer are great memories.

I heard things like an old hoot owl starting up down in the swamp. Nailing the buck of a lifetime on Cohutta WMA was one of my biggest thrills. I remember buying a new deer rifle and finding all the right accessories to go with it; the smell of gun oil; and the satisfaction of getting all sighted in for deer season.  

After all these years, I still love going to the sporting goods store and dreaming about all of the things I would love to have.

There are other memories this old deer hunter has, but they are too many to name.  But one thing is for certain, and that is that I would not trade the chance to do things differently. Now that I am an old deer hunter, I can truthfully say that I would never have wanted to do anything differently otherwise. I realize how lucky I was  to have been there when the deer season started in middle Georgia. I am proud to have been there when it started, and I am proud to have been a part of one heck of a ride all of these years.

If you are reading this about an old man’s experiences, perhaps you should get busy making your memories. There is nothing to compare with it.

Good Hunting!  

Alton Powell,
Chattahoochee Hills

GON Facebook: Daina Dingler sent us this photo to our Facebook page. “My son Jackson with his 43-inch-long, 45- to 50-lb. flathead catfish caught July 13 at Lake Oconee,” Daina said.


GON Instagram: Burt Medders, of Ochlocknee, killed this bird on March 31 in Thomas County. It had 1 3/8-inch spurs.

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