The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

November 3, 2012

Cross Column: TV hunting as realistic as Playboy


It became apparent that most of those television hunts had no connection with my or most hunters’ reality in the deer woods. Few of them offered any insight into the intricacies of deer hunting.

It was and is all about big racks.

The vast majority of hunters are not invited on a regular basis to hunt for free in pricey, exclusive areas that are managed solely for big deer and aimed at big expense accounts.

At least in Minnesota, most of us don’t shoot deer while they have their noses deep into a pile of bait. (Indeed, the biggest trophy room in Minnesota might be the place where the DNR stores all of the firearms and bows confiscated from scofflaws who choose to hunt over baited sites.)

The only fences in most of our hunting areas are intended to keep cattle from wandering, not the deer.

While we always hope to set our sights on a deer with antlers, the bigger the better, we don’t apologize for shooting a doe for the freezer with apologetic claims that we are assisting in “herd management.”

There are about a half-million of us out here this weekend. Certainly, we’re all hoping a buck sporting ivory that is tall and wide strolls by.

For most of us, it won’t happen, of course.

But if a nice forkhorn or sleek doe happens past, best we appreciate the moment and the opportunity.

It will be our decision to make the shot or not.

And we won’t have to listen to the beat of heavy metal as we squeeze the trigger.


John Cross is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at 344-6376 or by e-mail at

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