Archery hunting for deer is months of preparation for, hopefully, a few minutes of unbelievable excitement. Once you see a deer so close you can count her chin whiskers or see the green bark embedded low on a buck’s antlers it’s a tough thing to quit.
But it also contains hundreds of hours with nothing to do but watch nature – which doesn’t exactly suck – and think.
Here are some of my thoughts from recent hunts -
***Maybe I’ve been focusing too hard on the wrong end of these deer. Last week Kathy and I had a venison pot roast cooked all day in the crock pot with loads of onions, carrots and potatoes. I’d carefully trimmed away all fat and membrane so we had very mellow-flavored meat.
It was amazing, as usual.
So maybe rather than a buck with large antlers I should be looking for a buck with a large butt. The bigger the butt the bigger the roasts. Makes sense.
***Birders and wildlife watchers don’t know what they’re missing by not dressing head to toe in camo and sitting in the woods with little movement for many hours. You get a lot better look at things than from your car or a hiking trail.
Saturday morning I had a golden-crowned kinglet absolutely fascinated with what I was in an oak tree. It landed on branches from three to ten feet away for a half-hour. They’re so small but so perfectly beautiful and I didn’t need binoculars to enjoy it.
I also got to watch a pileated woodpecker go to town on a dead hickory tree 30 yards away. Man, were the patches of bark and rotten wood falling!
***And it’s so much fun watching deer, especially those you don’t want to shoot for whatever reason. I had a lonely doe fawn wander by several times. (Its mother was probably off hiding from bucks.) It certainly had an itchy right ear. Using its back hoof it scratched and scratched, but only the right ear.
***I wonder how far this trail camera craze will go. Most hunters I know buy another or two every year. Someday will we have trail cams taking pictures of trail cams taking pictures of trail cams taking pictures of deer?
Still haven’t shot a buck, though I had a very close encounter of the “that’s never happened before” kind.
But that’s for a different blog down the road.