Case: 'Confused in Chattanooga,' here's the secret to deer hunting

AP file photo by Keith Srakocic / In addition to such essentials as safety orange attire and proper weapons and ammo, deer hunters should hit the trail with the right snacks to pass their time in the stand, writes "Guns & Cornbread" columnist Larry Case.
AP file photo by Keith Srakocic / In addition to such essentials as safety orange attire and proper weapons and ammo, deer hunters should hit the trail with the right snacks to pass their time in the stand, writes "Guns & Cornbread" columnist Larry Case.

I was interrupted during an intense work session by a loud banging on my office door. I leaped toward it, wiped the sleep from my eyes and swept the door open. Cedric, our beleaguered intern, eyed me suspiciously.

"Busy, Mr. Case? And before you say anything about me being just an intern, remember I was promoted to administrative assistant last month."

No, I thought to myself, I don't remember that. It was probably in an email I didn't read.

Having quickly gained the high ground, Cedric continued: "The editors wanted me to tell you to do another installment of "Letters to the Outdoors Writer." I brightened.

"Probably got a lot of letters requesting that, right?"

Cedric gave me a look as if addressing a small child.

"Ummm, no, we don't get any letters - and before you ask, we don't have a mailbag."

I gave him a look of disbelief and figured he was still mad about the time I asked him to address several hundred envelopes with letters to deer hunters, asking if they had ever seen a mountain lion while hunting. He seemed to hold on to that grudge.

Well, I had some letters and emails squirreled away from loyal (?) readers that I hadn't told Cedric about, so I am happy to bring you another episode of "Letters to the Outdoors Writer."

photo Photo contributed by Larry Case / Sometimes, "Guns & Cornbread" columnist Larry Case takes a break from the fun (and frustration) of turkey hunting and life as an outdoors writer to answer questions from readers — or at least the types of questions some readers might want to ask.

Dear Outdoors Writer,

I am a new hunter and I want very much to learn about deer hunting and how to be successful. I listen to the guys at work who seem to be big deer hunters, and they brag about all the big bucks they take, but I can never tell if they are being truthful or putting me on. One of them tells me to hunt only during the full moon phase, and another actually told me to urinate in deer scrapes around my stand and said the only time to be in my stand is the last hour before dark. How do I know what to believe?

Confused in Chattanooga

Dear Confused,

We live in a time when it is hard to know what to believe about anything. Deer hunters may sometimes (almost always) stretch the truth about various hunting tactics. The moon phase question is argued almost as much as what the best caliber for whitetail deer is. Now that I think about it, deer hunters are probably third in line when it comes to fibbing about hunting, with fishermen first and turkey hunters second.

The best time to go hunting is when you can. Don't worry about time of day, the moon, what a woolly worm says or which way the wind is blowing. Dress warm, take plenty of snacks (crackers, cheese, potted meat, sardines and Little Debbie cakes) for your time in the deer stand, and go enjoy the day. Believe it or not, taking a leak around your stand will probably not hurt a thing and may even attract an old buck. (On the snacks list back there, I forgot to list cans of Vienna sausage and Beanee Weene.)

Dear Outdoors Writer in the paper,

I read in your column one time that you said your dogs were talking to you. Is this true or do you drink a lot?

Suspicious in Erie, Pennsylvania

Dear Suspicious,

What would you define as a lot?

Ok, I could have left it there, but I have said many times that my dogs do actually talk to me. For that matter, my dogs could talk to me and I could drink a lot, but in truth, these days drinking is probably like many things: I talk about it a lot more than I do it.

Dear guy in the paper that seems to think he knows everything about guns and hunting,

If you are so smart, why don't you write more about all the really cool new rifle calibers like the 6.5 PRC, the 6.8 Western, the 6.5 BC, and the 27 Nosler?

Agitated in Bluefield, West Virginia

Dear Agi,

If you have followed my columns (doubtful), you know that I have said writing in depth about rifle calibers usually requires a lot of math, which is something I am inherently afraid of. Shotgun topics are much more forgiving (usually). If you look you will see, however, that I have recently addressed new rifle and caliber topics such as what Weatherby is doing in its new home in Sheridan, Wyoming. I suggest you read more and don't play so many video games.

Dear Outdoor Writers guy who uses questionable grammar,

Is it true that you are trying to get sponsorships with Armour potted meat and Little Debbie cakes?

Hungry in Ellijay, Georgia

Dear Hungry,

Yes - but so far, no luck.

photo Contributed photo / Larry Case

"Guns & Cornbread" is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va. You can write to him at

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