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Deer Hunting

January 22, 2015

‘Where the metal meets the meat’

For a number of reasons, the onset of deer season stresses me out. As it stands, I have about a 4 hour commute to the family farm to hunt, as I haven’t had much luck with places where I’m currently at for several different reasons. But that commute is OK, I think there’s an element of romance in traveling a long distance to hunt.

The first deer of the year for me is the most important, because I hunt primarily for food, and when I’m only cooking for two, one full deer puts a handsome dent in our grocery bill. The first (and possibly only) one of the year for me alleviates a lot of the pressure and want I feel to feed myself by my own hand. I sat in the stand of my last sit for early black-powder season a few months ago, anxiously looking at my work calendar against the rest of deer season. Would I kill one today? Would I be able to hunt during rifle season? Crap, I won’t be able to bow hunt again until after 2 weeks of heavy gun-hunting pressure. I swear it’s like work doesn’t even pay attention to deer season when they schedule their breaks!

In a turn of events that encapsulates deer season perfectly, as I sat there silently cursing to myself, one stepped out close enough for me to pounce onto it’s back- a slightly lean looking doe, but definitely edible. I had passed up two small bucks and a fawn a total of 8 times that weekend, and while I never had any intention of shooting the spikes, fawns aren’t exactly inedible. But, she eventually quartered away from me at about 8:20 AM, and that was it for her.

There is nothing like finding what you’re looking for at the end of a blood trail in the deer woods. That sounds bloodthirsty, and I guess in some ways it is, but that’s only on the surface. I had traveled, worked, scouted, practiced with my weapons, and waited patiently for this deer. There are those that say that doesn’t give me the right to kill, and I understand. What I’m suggesting is that, even today, a person can leave their day-jobs, if only for a weekend, and go have an experience with nature that is as powerful today as it was 100, 500, or 1,000 years ago. I don’t know of many other things that can do that.

Now it’s getting close to the end of January, and deer season is done for me. I managed to take down the biggest buck of my life so far this past November. I’m back to work, thinking back on another deer season, looking forward to turkey and catfish noodling seasons. When I count the months until next deer season, it seems like an eternity. But, I’m always surprised at how quickly it rolls around in the end.