I know of a place here in Louisiana where you can go on a fenced-in hunting preserve and shoot a 10-point buck. And it will cost you $25,000.
Now, the place is large enough where the deer have plenty of places to escape and it is doubtful if the deer even know they are fenced in. But nevertheless, this is not the form of hunting I wish to associate myself with.
Some call it "canned hunting." In this case, it is a place where you can shoot the biggest deer of your life, and for some, it is important to keep up with the Jones' in the hunting world.
They raise them just for the occasion, advertising record book class deer for the hunter at a premium price. They even artificially inseminate deer to grow even bigger bucks, just like cattle.
I do wish they would breed a big buck that wasn't so tough to eat, so there goes my suggestion.
If you sit in one place for about three days, most likely, one of these monster bucks will meander by and you can take the shot. In the meantime, you will be wined and dined to your heart's content, and if you are a good tipper, which I'm sure you are, you will be invited back as soon as they grow an even bigger buck for you to shoot.
Funny thing about it though, once you have this cultivated buck on your wall, you can tell a different story about how you stalked it in some remote area of the world and the hardships you endured, depending upon how good a liar you happen to be.
Of course, don't try to get the buck registered in the Boone & Crockett record book, or Pope and Young, or the American Crossbow Registry, but they all have this little rule about "fair chase."
Sometimes the trophy isn't so grand, once you find you are shunned by the ethical hunters of the world who hunt by fair chase. Other times, it may be how you earned the deer that is more of a trophy than a name slot in a record book.
I was 16 years old in a place in Arkansas that had deer, but were few and far between. But I had high hopes on that cold November morning. They always let school out for opening day of deer season, as it seemed no one would show up anyway, including the teachers.
I climbed up Mount Magazine the afternoon before and spent the night in a cold, water-dripping cave in a worn out sleeping bag. Perhaps a thousand years ago, a Caddo Indian slept there as well, waiting on sunrise.
We didn't have climbing deer stands and the method of hunting was "stalking" or still hunting, where you move a bit, watch and listen, then change positions. Sometimes, we called deer with bleet calls or grunts and sometimes we went down to Blue Mountain Lake and ran them with dogs.
The clear night was long and cold under a full moon in a cloudless sky. My two buddies got cold and walked off the mountain, but I stuck it out, having never killed a deer. I had the fever.
Somehow, this was my vision quest, something I wanted to do just for me. I had the encouragement of my parents, and at the time, the best equipment, a new Winchester 94 30-30, the classic deer rifle.
It didn't have a scope like the rich guys had on their semi-automatic Remington 30-06s. But it was my rifle and I could shoot it well. I learned early the value of making one clean shot.
The deer on that mountain were absolutely wild, and sometimes a huge buck was reported, but I never saw one. I looked at my watch after a sleepless night in the cave by myself, it was 5 a.m. and still dark.
I was so cold I had to move so I headed into the night as the morning finally caught up with me. I eased into a cedar thicket and began a session of bleet calls.
Back then, it was bucks only all the time and the mere mention of shooting a doe got you a look of disgust from most of the old hunters. They didn't know much about deer management in those days, it was more of, you just didn't shoot a female deer, more of a macho thing than management.
And I never did agree with them. Good deer herd management proved me correct years later.
No girls or women ever hunted, but men were proud to wear their new found "Hunter Orange" caps. You saw them everywhere and that was the style. I had mine on that day and a coat to match.
My father was big on hunter safety and wore his cap, although he never went deer hunting.
No, that was my thing, this deer hunting, somehow called to it like the ancient summoning of the primeval ghosts of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. They were deer hunters, so I wanted to be a deer hunter. My heroes have always been hunters.
The call worked to my amazement, at least just this one time. The buck snorted and I snorted back. Here he came at a full gallop. I heard him first, then he broke cover right in front of me.
Snapping the Winchester to my shoulder as in these milliseconds I saw antlers and fired the rifle. It was no cultivated buck and I was not in a heated box stand. It was not a perfect broadside shot.
No, it was a quarter angle neck shot on a dead run, you know, the kind they tell you never to try because it's too difficult. I've made that shot 50 times over the years and never saw a problem. Oh well, to each his own.
The 4-point lay close by, only nine steps away. My hands shook, not only from the excitement of buck fever, but also from the cold. I had earned my first buck, hunted all by myself with nothing but a good rifle.
I carried that buck off the mountain, and until this day, I seldom use or own a four-wheeler. My dad waited for me at the end of the trail, very proud indeed.
Now, for the dwindling few that actually still go hunting, it is far much easier. As for me, I just go where the crowd doesn't go and almost never see another hunter unless it is a member of my own party or club. With the deer population boom of the 1980s, even the smallest children can now sit on dad's laps and get a deer.
This is a good thing, but I advise not to make this too easy for the kids, let them earn it.
If you will remember the many articles I wrote over the last few years about my adopted nephew, Kade Jones. He was never pampered in the field, even when we could do it.
This young gentleman graduates from Leesville High School this year, a top student, outstanding athlete and one of the best archers in the state.
Happy 18th birthday from your Uncle John. You have earned the respect of the hunters of the community and we are all proud of you.
The example was set for you, now it's your turn.
Pass it on.

John Simeone is an outdoors writer for Louisiana Road Trips Magazine, along with being a member of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association. He can be reached by e-mail at fptopgun@bellsouth.net.