Wandering Aimlessly


Patience and Persistence Gene

by Phil Burkhouse


The spike and a group of does came in slightly above me and started milling around.  I raised the 300 Savage and steadied the crosshairs on the neck of the spike, the end of another successful season.  I was in my mid 20s, and a short time later I glanced up and saw Dad looking down on the scene.  “Another spike,” he said.  Dad never said much.

I kept shooting the first legal buck I saw until I was in my 30s.  I finally began sparing spikes, but small bucks were out of luck if they had three or more points.  In my 40s I became more selective and wouldn’t shoot a buck unless it had a rack.  Some years I struck out, but I was finally okay with that concept.  By 50 I became quite restrictive and limited myself to rack bucks with eight points or better.  Those self-limitations definitely cut down on my shooting.  Given my experiences, it is amazing to me that my grandkids have developed so much buck selectivity at a very young age.



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