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.
If you want more ideas, use this custom Google Search that I set up:
How to Carve A Great Pumpkin
You’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.