Deer Camp: Deer Hunting with Family and Friends

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

How Was Your Deer Season?

Deer hunting is many things to many different people. It’s about the adventure, camaraderie, suspense, wildlife, habitat, meat and so much more. But, in a nutshell, it’s about deer camp. What actually comprises deer camp for an individual is different from hunter to hunter, though. Each person’s “deer camp” is different. But they’re all relatively the same. Common threads run through each from one to the next.

This goes without saying, but deer camp isn’t just a literal meaning. It’s relative. Deer camp is all around us. It isn’t just a building. It isn’t just a tent, or a cabin, or a campfire. It’s everything that encompasses deer hunting. It’s the heritage. It’s the lifestyle. It’s the tradition.

Here’s a small taste of what my 2017-18 deer camp looked like.

Deer Camp Never Ends

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1 | Deer Camp Never Ends

Deer season never ends for someone who truly lives it. Sure, we all have to stay between the lines and only “hunt” while seasons are in. But the killing is but a small part of the hunt. The hunt lasts year-round. It starts with the preparation and ends with the feast.

Pictured here is my grandfather as he worked up a food plot last August. We take pride in planting as many food plots as we can each year. And we receive even more enjoyment from watching the wildlife benefit from these food plots than we do from harvesting filling tags in and around them.

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Camp Camaraderie Is Half of the Fun

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2 | Camp Camaraderie Is Half of the Fun

Some of the best moments in camp aren’t even had in the woods. They’re made on the eve of hunts, around the campfire and at other times throughout the season. It truly is about the little things.

This was taken as my father, uncle and myself studied trail camera photos the night before the season opener. We strategized for the hunt, prepared gear for the next day, and shared a few laughs.

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A Kentucky Drop Tine Monarch

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3 | A Kentucky Drop Tine Monarch

This was the buck I took during the 2017 season. I scouted and patterned this buck during the pre-season and mapped out a plan to harvest it. A few days into the season, I received the right wind to go in and hunt the deer. It showed up well before sunset. I released the arrow and the blood trail wasn’t a very long one. I self-filmed the hunt. Click the link below to watch it.

Video: Deer Hunter Shoots Big Velvet Droptine Buck

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A Deer with Endless Character

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4 | A Deer with Endless Character

It wasn’t long before my father was also presented with a shot at a great buck. A buck with tons of character that we’d been watching was regularly hitting two of our stand sites during daylight. We slipped in to better of the two sets early one afternoon and the buck showed up soon after. My dad’s arrow made quick work of the buck. You can also watch that hunt in the linked video below.

Video: Deer Hunter Arrows Nice Buck

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Time with an American Hero

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5 | Time with an American Hero

J.D. Williams is an American soldier who sacrificed much for his country. He served in the Army and served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. It was in the former that he was blown up by an IED. As he began to recover, he realized how much the outdoors meant to him and how much it helped him heal.

That was eight years ago. But last fall, I had the honor of sharing deer camp with him. I hunted with J.D. as we pursued whitetails in Kentucky. Check out the linked video below to see how we fared.

Video: Triple Amputee Combat Veteran Bowhunts Big Buck

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Sharing the Outdoor Heritage with Our Youth

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6 | Sharing the Outdoor Heritage with Our Youth

I also had the opportunity to share camp with Realtree Timber 2 Table’s Michael Pendley. I filmed him and his children during youth deer season. His son, “Potroast” Pendley killed a great buck. And all in camp has a great time during the hunt.

Video: Watch Youth Hunter's Reaction to Killing Big Buck

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A Successful Road Trip to Ohio

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7 | A Successful Road Trip to Ohio

My father and I have hunted in Ohio for the last two seasons. This past year, he was fortunate to fill his tag on a nice hill-country 11-point buck. It was late October. The leaves were a beautiful mix of yellow, orange, green and red that day. That hunt was the classic fall deer camp if I’d ever seen one.

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The Rut Was Tough

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8 | The Rut Was Tough

Soon after that I traveled to Missouri to hunt and test out the new Winchester Deer Season XP Copper Impact. It was a great week of hunting. I saw a lot of deer and almost got a shot at the great buck pictured above. It just didn’t quite come together. Soon after, I traveled back to Ohio, only to get it handed to me again by those hill-dwelling whitetails. I enjoyed every minute of it, though. The chase is alluring. And it’s not all about the kill, after all.

Video: Deer Hunting with Winchester's Deer Season XP Copper Impact

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Time Spent Passing It On

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9 | Time Spent Passing It On

My wife and I were able to introduce my sister-in-law to deer hunting for the first time this season. She didn’t tag a deer, but she did enjoy her time afield and is ready to go again next season.

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A Deer Long Overdue

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10 | A Deer Long Overdue

I had a lot of great days in the stand last year. But perhaps the highlight of my season was helping my 74-year-old grandfather-in-law take his first deer. His excitement was obvious. And it was a day I won’t soon forget.

Video: 74-Year-Old Man Goes Deer Hunting and Gets His First Deer

Don't Miss: 20 Deer Hunting Lies Your Granddaddy Told You

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