by Scott Bestul

I confess I’m pretty much a loner during hunting season. So when Jeff Bunke–a friend and fellow whitetail nut–asked if I’d like to gather at his house with some like-minded addicts, I jumped at the chance. The main draw was the chance to gawk at some great deer heads and shed antlers, but there was the undeniable pull of sharing a little fellowship. Oh yeah…And some snacks, soda, and malted beverages.

I had a truly great time. Jeff had invited B&C scorer Dave Boland, who showed up with measuring tape and notebook in hand. The guys kept Dave busy with some great antlers, and he even took the time to answer questions about scoring…Even the complicated ones. There were some great hunting stories (including one where a buck was killed by a broadhead to the hoof) and plenty of laughter. It struck me, as I left, that I miss such camaraderie.

We’re in the middle of a tough winter here in Minnesota. Some sheds are being found, but the weeks ahead will be better. The deep snow is preventing any hard scouting effort, and even though there is predator hunting and ice fishing for entertainment, I still think about whitetails…a lot!

I’m hoping that Jeff calls us all together again next January, to share some laughs and gawk at big deer. I’m a year-round deer geek, and I enjoyed the company of those with a similar nature.

So how about you? Do you keep in touch with other deer nerds during the off season? What do you do to maintain your whitetail fixation during the off-season?