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      Why do you hunt?

      There's only one way to skin a buck. But there are a number of ways to kill a deer. Aside from using the hood of your car some of the most basic hunting tactics start at simply pointing your gun out your cabin window. But since there's not much sport in that, most hunters incorporate a number of other skill sets.

      I spent some time with Brian Reynolds, President of U.P. Whitetails this week. He said, â??There are some pretty successful hunters that track around here. But most of the people bait or find a place to sit and hunker down. â??

      Linda Bevins is a local teacher and hunterâ??s safety instructor. She has this to say, â??Well for the most part I like to just sit. I have a blind. And when I get a little too cold then I'll get up and do a little still hunting. In fact, thatâ??s were I have the most success.â??

      Some folks are opposed to the idea of baiting. But we know that winters are difficult for deer in the Upper Peninsula. So look at it this way, â??A lot of the people in the upper peninsula don't believe in baiting. However they bait because everybody else is baiting. And what happens is it pulls the deer away from your area.â?? said Earl Bevins, President of the Big Bay Sportsmanâ??s Club.

      Some hunters will use a tree stand while others rely on a blind. Some stalk their prey while others sit and wait near a bait pile. Some hunt to fill the freezer while others simply hunt for sport.

      It comes as no surprise that venison is not hard to come by in the Upper Peninsula. I asked Brian ReynoldsWhy d what he aims to achieve while heâ??s in the woods. Hereâ??s what he said. â??I'm not usually pressed for venison. I won't usually shoot a buck unless its three years old or older. And that doesn't very often happen anymore. And I've slowed down.â??

      A true sportsman employs a combination of tactics and sees things in the woods that some might miss. I youâ??re wondering how to go about it, just ask local sportsman, Carl Bevins. He said â??My philosophy is you go out, you sit and you're quiet, you kind of melt into the forest and then you start to see what's really there. If you just tromp in the woods, you go 'I didn't see anything all day.' Well, that's a personal problem.â??

      Hunters that didn't bag that big buck this year know their trip wasn't a total loss. And there's always next year. Carl Bevins said â??I haven't shot a buck in a couple years. I haven't seen a nice buck. And that's ok. I enjoy going out there, seeing what Mother Nature presents us with because everyday is a new day. Youâ??ll see something new each time youâ??re out.â??

      Brain Reynolds also concluded that his approach to hunting has changed over the years. He said â??I like watching deer I think more than I like killing them anymore. That's just the way it is, you know.â??

      So you donâ??t even have to kill an animal to call yourself a hunter. It just depends on what youâ??re hunting.