My turn: Hunter has eye for job

You might say Jude Smith, manager at Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and Grulla National Wildlife Refuge, has a real eye for his job.

On the job, he’s making use of spotting skills honed by hunting.

As an example, Smith said he and two younger refuge employees were recently surveying the deer population, counting how many of the critters were calling the refuge home. Smith hunts deer all the time and said that experience enabled him to spot deer more easily than his coworkers.

His secret?

Smith said he keeps a mental picture of what the animal looks to help him find deer.

“A lot of times I see an outline of a leg, antlers or a flick of the tail that helps me,” Smith said. “The people I was with had a difficult time seeing (any of) the deer we were counting.”

One deer was 26 yards away and Smith had to point it out to his companions.