Whitetail Deer: History of the Hunt

Whitetail DeerArtifacts found in Germany as old as 350,000 years and cave paintings found in France as old as 30,000 years indicate deer hunting has been around since well before the dawn of modern civilization. Back then deer weren’t only a source of food, either.

Deer hide provided ancient people clothing and carpeting while deer bone provided clubs and fish hooks, along with knives and spearheads. Deer were a necessity for humankind as a source of sustenance, warmth, weaponry, adventure and sharpening instincts. Today values and instincts mean something totally different.

The evolution of hunting over the past 4 million years or so is present in all of us as mankind. As times have changed and hunting has evolved, so too have our means for hunting. Not only have we had a diminished need for deer hunting in our modernized, rationalized society, we also have many more advances for efficient and effective hunting. This combination has devolved our instincts as a race when it comes to tracing deer.

hunting hearing protectionThese intrinsic adjustments dramatically changed what is needed and how we hunt. With advances in shooting technology and guns that can even shoot and aim themselves, along with such tools afforded us as tree stands and backwoods mules, the deer hunter from over 1 million or even 1 hundred years ago would not recognize the way hunters operate today.

The way we hunt today has made leaps and bounds over the past 4 million years.

Gone are the handmade spears fashioned from deer bone, bound using deer hide leather, replaced with high caliber rifles accurate enough to allow a novice shooter pick off pencil tip from 300 yards. Also gone is the instinctual need to hunt deer, replaced with the convenience of meat markets on every street corner.

But one thing remains; the tradition of the deer hunt is as strong today as it was when mankind first started tracing deer.