The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do alot of thinking while driving into work in the morning, on the good days all this thinking is about hunting. Today, as I approach what is sure to be a whirlwind final week of bowhunting , a week where I could be out there as many as 4 more days before 11/15. I got to thinking about what I want to achieve the most with the rest of my season, including the few days of rifle season when I actually will be hunting and not focused on assisting others in the deer woods.

Many of us on here preach about not hunting for the kill, and everyday that I come home from a hunt with nothing, I certainly know that is not the reason I got up in the morning as I am on a real high that my life just let me spend a day where I really belong. But on this morning's ride in, I did discover there is a moment I have not experienced in the woods since 2006 and I am ready to have that moment again in my life. The moment is the kneel down next to a nice , hopefully gray muzzled, whitetail. I know many out there share this same desire obviously and some may not got to experience it as much as me or even at all, some get too much much more than I. Now don’t get me wrong in the past two years my wife and son have got deer in my prescence that we could not get to fast enough to celebrate, but when the silent time between hunter and deer comes to say thanks to that animal , it has been their individual moment and as I give them room to do such and stand back and watch, they do me very proud with how much it means to them and how serious they take it. In fact watching my then 10 year old son do that last year was undoubtedly the best thing in hunting I have ever experienced as it was not taught or scripted to him to do, it was his natural instinct just to do it and brought me to tears of pride.

But now I realized I need that moment or a dose of it for myself …not sure if that is selfish of me, or perhaps the product of an exhausting year in my life in general, or all these great success stories rolling thru HPA making realize how much i miss it, but it has highlighted to me the past importance of this act during all the years that add up to the 28 I spent hunting and especially what it has developed within me.

Please understand that this moment is not about the food bounty that now lays before me, or the rack that I now own and can admire for the rest of my life and even show off a bit. It is about my care and concern for the animal called the whitetail deer and what his continued existence has brought into my life, especially as of late as I study them more than I ever have.

To help explain this feeling..let’s say I just took a rifle shot at a nice buck, one that thru the year has become quite familiar to me and I even watched him as a younger buck last year as well, perhaps let him walk by ... The shot looked good and my first thought to myself is that it better of been, as I hold myself to the very first standard of taking a shot. With the deer now down, I down my weapon to the ready and just allow for the juices of that moment to flow, I do this so one, that I can enjoy that moment , and two, so that I can properly react to any situations that may be about to unfold in the recovery.

At the first site of the animal laying on the ground, I always start praying that he has already passed quickly and focus completely on him for any signs of life. Best case scenario is that he has passed, worst case scenario is that he will jump up again and I will be putting him thru what I can only imagine to be what every prey animal must fear instinctually and that is the closing in on the end of their life as they try to flee. Often it is the former for which I am so thankful, sometimes it is the stage of final breaths which do stop me in my tracks a bit as I witness them…only on few occasions has it been the later at which I have always seen some of the shine removed.

He is now done his last breath and I approach him to give him the eye poke with a nearby stick…something I was taught long ago as the only true way to tell that he is indeed gone. With no blink I set down and unload the gun. And at this point , I always look skyward first to say thank you to God and also to those elder hunters that I have lost but not before they instilled all of this in me.

But here now is the moment I miss and that is the kneel down next to this buck. My first response is usually to lay my hand on his shoulder and bow my head. The words said at this time in my mind are always different in construction but house the same meaning as I lay the body of my fallen foe to rest. After that I will take a closer inspection of the rack, but it seems my eyes are always drawn into the buck’s eyes now and not the rack, and it brings about another round of silent conversation between the hunter and the fallen hunted. I promise him that his taking was not in vain, and that I will try my best to improve the things for his kin much like I did for him. I tell him that the respect I have for him will be the motivator in me, even on the most miserable days, to head into these woods and supply for those that survived.

It is that moment I miss right now in my season's quest. That individual moment between me and the deer, I will not force this moment with a risky shot or any unsprotsmen like action as I know that will just ruin it anyway…I want the moment to be prue and meaningful to me and a life that has largely been guided by the pursuit of this creature.

Not sure why I had to share this with the folks here at HPA…but I guess I just hope that everyone that hunts deer has their own glorious version of this moment as often as possible. Here is to the next one, be it today, next week or in 10 years. God Bless, and always remember that eventhough there will alwasy be more deer out there, the one that lay before you now is no more and he deserves that moment and respect at least in my mind.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,207 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

Rooster here's to you getting to spend that one on one time this year.Well said.For all you do for others that would be well deserved
.Man now you got my head spinning thinking of the coming days .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: The moment I cherish the most

Dave this actually bothered me a bit this morning, or at least made me feel kind of selfish to say as i enjoy others success so much...but I realized this moment to be the one that I need as an individual hunter not every year or three times a year. but one that I don;t want to loose touch with.

I will still do all I can to see others have this moment, as I want to spread it around to as many as possible, but the kindling to it all is this moment....it makes me step up as an individual for the both the sport and the deer, if that makes any sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,207 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

Not selfish at all my friend ... not at all.My wish as you know is to have Dad kneel down beside one this year for my own selfish reasons.The spoirit is alive and well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

Your thread has good timing with my recent thoughts on hunting as well. I usually take up new interests very strong and that's been no exception with hunting. Although this year has been better than last year I still haven't that moment you mentioned and at times it does test my patientence. But I'm gaining valuable experience and learning as I go. I know it's going to take a while (for me anyway) to get my first deer but I'm more looking forward to my son with his.

I decided to take a break from the treestand last week and went squirrel hunting with my kids for a few days after school. Besides my trip to your cabin it was the best time I've had hunting this year.
I started off with the idea that a deer for myself would be the main goal but I've found that there are plenty of other ways to succeed with hunting. I'll get my moment when the time is right, sounds like yours is right around the corner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: The moment I cherish the most

Actually Noob...I have been letting my gaurd down a bit on these guys and that is another bit of a realization I had today. As you know from our meeting, I really take interest in all aspects of this sport, from getting folks involved all the way to watching the legislative side of things, and all that gets refueled with that moment, but can make it harder to get to as well.

As you know, I am pulling for you (and Chris) to have this moment yourself much like Chris's grandfather did. Don't get too frustrated if it does not happen as it will just add ot it when it does. Hunting is a roller coaster of emotion and the days it seems furtherest away are sometimes the days it happens almost without effort...I guess what i realized this morning is the next time I am kneeling down next to one, I am going to be there awhile...making sure the tank once again gets fueled.

I am fired up for the rest of the season for sure...but that must be controlled enough to conitune to make the right decisions and not press it too much.

BTW, I think you guys are closer to that first kneel down than you may realize...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,403 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

RB - not selfish at all. I feel the same way, give the same eye check (but with the gun...or bow, weapon of choice...) I give the same thanks, and tell the deer/bear thanks and give the nod and prayer of respect!

I did not take a buck last year, this year, I am seeing and getting pics of the biggest deer I have seen. The problem is, I am not in the stand and prepared! I have pics of some wall hanger 8pts......

Had another 8 pt run between me and the mailbox when I was working from home last Thursday at 1PM - He was 30 yards broadside, pretty sure he stuck his tounge out at me as he left with a snicker.....

Last night, heading to school, the biggest 10 pt I have ever seen is standing in the middle of the road at 5:30. he is not 1/2 mile from my hunting spot.....

These frustrations only make the harvest that much more special.

So consider me selfish as well then, because I am due for that feeling as well.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
29,168 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

To help explain this feeling..
No need to explain brother, it is well understood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,643 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

another outstanding post Rooster
you really get me thinking!! no need to feel any selfishness whatsoever. the moment you speak of is one of the true treasures only we outdoorsman can relate to! Good luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,127 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

RB,

That was well said. Really got me thinking, thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,275 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

Very well written thread here. Thanks alot John. Great stuff.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
Re: The moment I cherish the most

John,

Very well written post. As I sat here pondering over what you've written, I can truly understand, relate, and appreciate your feelings. Your respect and love for the whitetail is very evident.

I'm grateful to share those same feelings. The thrill of the chase is what keeps us coming back for more, along with those memories involved......It's a wonderful thing to be able to recall that hunt, when your son shot his FIRST buck and see the lessons, you've taught him about hunting and life all come together as he gave thanks for the gift from the red god. That's a memory, that will live with you till your dying day. Still get the goose bumps?????


As I grow older, I think, it's those memories that mean more to me, then the harvest does. Sure, I would like to harvest a buck every year, but I've grown very fond of the memories, that get us to the MOMENT, which, when it happens, I cherish with a THANKFUL heart.....

Patience, John, it WILL happen again soon.

All the best , Zumer
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top