There has been a strange transformation taking place in the past couple of years… we are slowly being wooed over by those mystic little brown ghosts that slip silently through the woods… there and gone so quickly you wonder if it was all a dream. Yes , I confess that these two die hard Elk hunters are becoming addicted to Whitetail hunting.
It hasn’t been because of a great amount of success that we are being won over. In the six years that we have been hunting Whitetail we’v taken a grand total of 4 bucks, and that is between the two of us. None would be in the “trophy” class of your seasoned Whitetail hunters… but to us each one has a special magic about it.
I believe some of the draw has been where we hunt. It is deep thick old growth timbered mountain wilderness, where the moss and ferns grow thick and the sun can only filter down. There is a very “wild ” and even lonely feel when you venture into the depths of the forest…. the quiet is so intense you can feel it… and the ghostly little creatures slip through without a sound.
My Dad has come with us three times now… and he’s yet to see a buck. Yes that sounds like we don’t know what we’re doing or that there’s very few deer … perhaps it’s a combination of both! But something pulls him back again and again. We are learning a little more every year about the deer… and about ourselves…
This year Dad and I sat in a ground blind for a total of 54 hours and the only living creatures we saw were crows and squirrels. Yes I know we probably should have moved to an area with more deer movement… but this spot has yielded two bucks in the past for us… and with my Dad’s heart condition it was not an option to pick up and move. I learned a lot in those 54 hours about perseverance. Dad cannot tolerate the cold because of his poor circulation and the medicines he takes for his heart. So we had to have a “Big Buddy” propane heater in the blind.( I can hear you seasoned Whitetail hunters groaning!) Yes we were aware that this would more than likely reduce our chances a great deal… but again it was use the heater or not go out hunting at all.. Dad chose to keep going out always with the optimistic attitude that I longed to have! The vision of my Dad trudging into the blind every morning and sitting all day.. ready to do it again the next morning will stay with me. When we finally had to call it quits and pack up… it nearly brought tears to my eyes, I felt so bad that he never got an opportunity… but he assured me that he had a great time… he said it was enough just to be in the woods… and looking into his eyes I saw that was how he truly felt… that it was a privilege just to be out in the wild, still vastness.
Thanks Dad for reminding me again what it’s all about…