Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Failing Light

It is finally deer season. I have already been out twice since Sunday and last night I had my first chance at bagging a big doe. I am not big on trophies, but I do like to get my freezer stocked. It was two minutes before "dark" officially, and raining ever so slightly. Two does walked out of the nearby thicket as I headed back towards "camp." I crouched down and watched. I could hardly believe my eyes when they started moving. Towards me no less!! Then they just kept closing the distance. 60 yards, 50 yards, 40 yards, and at that point I could no longer resist despite the time. I rose slowly to take aim at the big silhouette on the hillside before me. Pulse racing and astonished I was being afforded this opportunity, even after I had written the night off as a loss. I was so convinced I had already completed my hunt for the evening, that I had removed my mechanical trigger and was drawing with just my fingers, a rarity for me. I slowed my breathing and steadied as much as I could as I drew on the huge doe, but distracted by the thought of the fresh venison sausage only moments from fruition. Release...followed by a satisfying thwack. The doe took off, stumbled, but corrected and kept running. In the failing light, I couldn't make out whether or not my arrow had found its mark, though the sound left little doubt in my mind. It was raining slightly and getting dark fast. I could not wait the customary time to let her lie down. I followed minutes later to start tracking. Wet, dark, and getting a bit cool, I searched for two hours. No luck. Not even one drop of evidence. Whether washed away by the rain, or my circling foots steps through the waist high grass, I never found proof. Perhaps this evening, in the light, I will have more success.

There is nothing quite like sitting in the woods perfectly silent listening and watching as the forest comes alive around you. You sit patiently waiting and listening, to even the smallest creak of a nearby limb. A twig snaps and your pulse rises at the thought of what could be coming. Not out of fear, but pure excitement, your breathing speeds up as you consciously remind yourself to look with your eyes and not your whole head. In only two days, I have had quite the refresher course on bow hunting. I think I'm in love. Again!

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