Deer hunting remains a family thing and it’s still a big deal when a shot is made, the deer tagged and brought back to camp.
Story and Photography by Robert Sloan
About 50 years ago my neighborhood buddies and I looked forward to October because that was when we would get together with our dads and start building box blinds for deer hunts in the Pineywoods. It’s was a big deal. Everybody tried to outdo everybody with a bigger and better blind. Looking back, I can’t ever remember building one that was more than a few feet off the ground. Having an elevated blind was not that big of a deal. But it’s certainly the way to go these days.
There was nothing better than that first morning of deer season. We were up well before dawn, cooked breakfast at the cabin, gathered up our gear and guns and headed out into the darkness of the woods in Polk County, deep in the heart of the Pineywoods. We would set up in the blind and be as quiet as possible, and always on the lookout for deer. Back then our plywood blinds were made on the cheap. Two by fours, plywood, a few hinges for windows and a couple of old office swivel chairs was about as good as it gets. We were out of the weather and into the hunt.
These days you don’t see many home-made blinds. Plastic elevated box blinds rule. And there are tripod stands, tree stands and of course pop up blinds to buy. Regardless of what type of blind you use half the fun is getting them to deer camp. From there it’s a group effort with brothers and sisters, dads and moms. First, you’ve got to find a place for the blind, get it to “The Spot”, set it up and get ready for the hunt. That’s a big deal.
Overall, deer hunting hasn’t changed that much over the years. It’s still a family thing, and it’s always a big deal when you finally make the shot, tag the deer and bring it back to camp.