Sep 252012
Whitetail buck and doe carving

My Pumpkin: Whitetail Buck and Doe

I couldn’t hunt this weekend due to family obligations, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t on my mind. Most hunters with families tend to put them first, which is a good thing. Luckily, I’ve found some great ways to feed the obsession while not in the field. I keep my eye out for deer while we’re driving around town, daydream about bowhunting in urban areas, and follow the exploits of other hunters on Twitter and MWT Forums.

This year Field & Stream gave me a great idea for another way to combine my hunting obsession with family time: the 2012 Pumpkin Contest. So I spent an afternoon carving jack o’ lanterns with my wife and daughter.

Whitetail Buck Pumpkin Designs

While searching for pumpkin carving ideas related to hunting, I came cross a bunch of great  designs that I wasn’t able to use. Click on the image below to view larger or save it.

Bow Hunter Buck Buck Skull Carving Doe Moon Carving Walking Whitetail Buck
The coolest and most ambitious design: a bowhunter shooting a mature buck. A scary-looking whitetail deer skull. What is that, a 12-pointer? This more innocent design is kid friendly which parents might appreciate. The lowered head of a challenging buck. Love it!
Buck Antlers Carving Scary Deer Skull 3 Whitetail Bucks Buck Looking
The whitetail hunter’s trophy, a simple enough design to do. Another version of the scary whitetail skull… far fewer points to carve. Three very nice bucks together in a field. Love this image; wish I had the guts to carve it. A simpler but picturesque buck design.

If you want more ideas, use this custom Google Search that I set up:

How to Carve A Great Pumpkin

deer pumpkin carving kitYou’ve got to have the right tools to carve a pumpkin with any sort of detail. The pumpkin carving kit from Wal-Mart is ideal, but in a pinch, you can get by with a corn cob holder or toothpick (to punch little holes telling you where to carve) and a narrow, serrated carving knife.

A couple of hours later I had a tray full of pumpkin seeds set out to dry, and my favorite pumpkin carving ever: a whitetail buck and doe outlined against the moon. I like the scene because it nicely encapsulates bowhunting whitetails in the pre-rut season. We bowhunters are mostly obsessed with locating mature bucks. Those bucks, in turn, are mostly obsessed with keeping tabs on the does.

So it follows that if we want to find bucks, we should figure out where the does are.

Why Hunters Should Enter

Looking through some of the carving entries from previous years, it looks like competition will be tough. Not all of the entries are deer-related or even hunting-related; hard as it is to believe in the pre-rut season, there are other sports covered by Field & Stream. Even so, I’m hoping that we hunters can put in a good showing. Treat it like practice for field dressing game.

I don’t mean to offend anyone by this next statement, but if the winner of this year’s contest is a fly fisherman or something, I’m going to be very disappointed in all of us.

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Written by Dan Koboldt

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