I love deer hunting TOO MUCH!!
As the deer season winds down and I only got a couple days of it left at most before my tag becomes invalid I tend to do a lot of reflecting on the season and I believe I have come to the conclusion that in the last couple years I have just come to obsessed with deer hunting and that relationship is coming with some serious side effects. This Saturday, the last day of rifle season will be my 23rd day of deer hunting since October 1, that is about 1/2 the days avaiable, in both PA and NY, there maybe be two more days or at least partial days on the late season after Christmas that might get added to make it 25 days of deer hunting in 2012. Now to many of you I am sure 25 days of deer hunting sounds great and truthfully despite the heavy vacation reserve for it, it was only possible for me because of the second state added (IE NY Sundays). But now that my season is ending I think about how much else I missed with my deer blinders on let me illustrate.
On the + side…
I got a NY buck and doe, my son got a NY doe and my wife her first ever PA crossbow doe in thrilling fashion. So we got meat and some horn and a day left yet as a hunting trio. Along the past couple years or so 4 deer became the minimum before we let off the accelerator, we are there.
I hunted a nice place in NY for the first time with some Great sportsmen, allowed me to still hunt, something I can't do on my land here.
All my PA days were spent on my own land, I worked on it all year for this time of year. Hunting deer I am familiar with and with people I am familiar with..alot of meaning in there and many deer seen some days.
I had 8 days out of that 23 that were above ordinary days sitting in the woods. Including an 8 buck sighting day, seeing 14 bucks in 3 day period, as well as a couple fun harvests, and then just some cool sightings and nice sits in the woods.
On the down side..
I have not hunted my beloved Potter County hills or been to the camp during the deer season for 2 years now and it sat empty on the opener again this year (4 yrs now) and had a skeleton 2nd week crew. Just can’t find a string of open days for that trip anymore. i was there once in 2012, in MARCH.
I did not spend ONE SINGLE day hunting with my Dad or brother this Fall for deer or small game (likely my biggest regret)
In fact, the only day I small game hunted was in mid –Sept on the HPA bird hunt at On-point outfitters.
My labs, although old , never had bird scent in their nose at all this Fall, that was their whole life a couple years ago.
My firewood cutting , timber stand improvement stuff got zero hours (the NY Sunday factor)
I have a backlog of things at home that will likely once again have to wait for spring both time wise and financially because of this addiction.
The kids , I unfortunately missed several marching band competitions, and parts of a few football games.
The wife, well I don’t know how I really still have a wife with all the hunting I did and then throw in trying to run this website at its busiest time. Perhaps the fact she hunts a little bit and likes a freezer of venison is the only reason i can look across the room at her beautiful face tonight..
It goes on a bit more…but get a little more personal so I digress.
I mean some of this might sound like a joke or a nice problem to have, but it really is not…somewhere along the line the focus of Fall became very narrow and with one purpose. I know some of the wonderful success over the last few years had something to do with it. Making me add a day here, the rescheduling what we are hunting there, and the change from what we traditionally do on that day so we can do this over here.
I am tired fellas, real tired and somewhat fulfilled and satisfied to some extent , and frustrated a bit too. It went fast from the opener where i had a big doe in front of me with her BB trying to get milk, to this past Monday where 3 bucks drifted by in the fog not offering anything but a wounding shot at best. It had its moments I will always cherish, but the armchair QB in me wishes now I would of opened my focus this Fall and took in all the things that made me a hunter to begin with, the roots. The various people, places, dogs, locations and even some of the nighttime drives in the truck across Rt 6 or down Rt 36 to get there…all that now becomes something for next year I guess. I will finish this season as I went in with hope it is about to happen and uttering the words “it only takes a second”, but I am also ready for the final cleaning of the rifle, the stowing of the gear, the return to the woods without them . I am addicted to deer hunting, I am obsessed with it to the point of it bordering on unhealthy and robbing me and my family) of many other things in life. I know I am not the worst case and I know I am not alone, but I can tell you after Saturday I am going to smell like a fresh shower not dirt soap, not watch the wind, crunch a lot of twigs, walk fast when I want too, arrive late and leave early. All after this Saturday, thank God it legally ends to make me stop.
God bless the addicted. We do need it , but need to heed what HE is trying to tell us too...heck might even go to church this Sunday i think even HE is tired of seeing me in camo.
"Only takes a second to change your season" Dad, 1980