I've never been hunting in my life. It's not because I have any sort of moral objection to hunting  Growing up in West Virginia, the number one state for deer-car collisions, I would be the last person on earth to object to the annual thinning of the herd.

There is nothing scarier than cresting a hill at 60 miles an hour and suddenly your headlights hit a sea of green lights, which turn out to be deer eyes.

I've hit a deer twice.  Fortunately, I have not been injured.  The deer I hit didn't do that well. The cars were both totaled.  One of them was a rental I had to get while my insurance dealt with the car I totaled a few weeks earlier from, you guessed it, hitting a deer.

Here's what I know about deer. Before I share my great deer hunting insight, I want you to know that  I'm intentionally not googling this topic before I finish writing this.  I will put this out there before I check to see if there's any truth to it.

Photo by Matthew Maaskant on Unsplash
Photo by Matthew Maaskant on Unsplash

For a few years, I took a radio job near my grandmother's farm after she got too sick to care for it. While there, I would enjoy quietly sitting on her porch at sunset and watching the hillside.  At the top of the hillside, my grandmother had an apple tree.

My grandfather planted it from a seedling.  It was a deep yellow apple tree, and it always had a crop of beautiful big yellow apples on it.  We never ate any, because being in a field with no insecticide, the apples were usually full of worms and insects before we could get them.

One night, while enjoying a quiet sunset on the front porch, I noticed a few deer under that apple tree. I watched them for a long time.  It almost seemed as if they were hypnotized by the sight of those apples hanging on that tree. They would stand around that tree for hours.

When a sudden wind blew up, I noticed that a few of the apples had fallen off the tree. As soon as they did, those deer chased them to wherever they rolled to and would gobble them up as if they were starving.

The tree had tons of apples. Every day for about three weeks, I would watch the tree at sunset. The ritual deer would gather every evening and stand around that tree. About a week later, the largest buck I have ever seen showed up.  I don't know how many points he had, but he would have been an incredible trophy.

Photo by Maria K on Unsplash
Photo by Maria K on Unsplash

This buck figured out somehow that if he butted the tree with his rack, apples would fall. So, he would come and bump the tree and the apples would fall. All the gathered does and that buck would then gobble up those apples.

I told my cousin this story. He was an avid deer hunter, who had been having a rough few years. His friends had all done well, but he hadn't had a good buck in a few seasons.

I told him if he wanted to get lucky this deer hunting season, gather some of the ripest, even borderline rotten, yellow apples and spread them all around the deer stand.  For good measure, I recommended that he also get some apple juice and spread it around.

Long story short, my cousin bagged the biggest buck of his hunting career that year after employing my advice.

Now, I admit it, I have now googled the whole "apple-deer" connection and found that this was indeed sound advice. Take it or not, it's up to you. Just be safe in the woods and I hope you have the best luck ever this season.

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