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To me, this what it is all about. I hope you enjoy this tale. This happened to me back in 1986.

Summer is over and the leaves start to change color. The temperature starts to go down and the feeling in the air is fall has come. Fall is here and winter will come soon. The urge to go out in the wilds grows inside and becomes an obsession consuming all your thoughts.
You decide while it is still early in the season, to go scout some areas. As you step out of your truck, the familiar smell of the woods takes you back to times before. As you make your way through the woods, you are alert, listening to every sound, watching every movement, careful to be silent as the adversary you seek. A grey squirrel gives you away, sounding an alert to all who are listening. You watch as the squirrel scatters away from you still sounding the alarm that there is a intruder in the woods. You continue on your way looking for any trace of your prey.
But as you walk along you take in all the sights, sounds, and smells around you. You hear off in a distance the pop, pop, pop, of a wood pecker hammering on a tree. You see a couple of crows flying above yelling their calls through out the woods.
You keep your eyes peeled for any sign of the deer you seek. Suddenly there it is. A scrape on the ground with a smell that is very strong to the senses. You look over the scrape and see that it is very fresh and the overhanging tree is scraped free of all of its bark. Your eyes start looking around, for any sign of the buck that lays claim to this area.
Your heart is pounding now, just knowing that you have found what you seek. The adrenaline rushes through your veins and you feel the fever rising. You continue on looking for the bedding and feeding grounds. As you follow the trail, a clearing emerges from the woods. The open area was hidden from view deep in the woods. You see many trails now branching off in different directions. Your eyes go skyward as you watch as a red tail hawk high above calling to his or her mate. On the other side of the clearing you spot movement. Your immediate reaction is to crouch down from view. You spot a doe with fawn moving through the edge of the woods. She has no sense you are there. You scan back from the direction she has come, trailing behind is another set of does with their fawns in tow. Your heart is pounding now with excitement and adrenaline. What a beautiful a scene watching the deer slowly feeding along the edge of the woods. Near the deer, there is a small group turkeys feeding as well and oblivious to the deer around them.
Another movement catches your eye, deeper in the woods you spot him. It is a buck, he is watching contently as the does feed. He raises his head and smells the air. You pray the wind is in your favor and you are in luck, you feel a slight breeze in your face. The buck slowly makes his way to the edge of the clearing. He stops and hesitates, anxious and weary of any danger. You can tell from the huge neck, broad chest, large head, and towering rack on his head, that he is an older wiser buck. He is a king among many princes in his domain.
Your heart is seriously pounding now and you try to control your breathing and the shaking of the hands that has begun with this discovery. You are in awe to be witnessing such a majestic site. The wild life is unaware of your presence and you are for the moment at one with the woods. You here a sound to your right and not 10 feet away, a small rabbit quietly nibbles on the clover. You almost hold your breath as the rabbit works its way past you, passing within 6 feet of you and not knowing you are there.
You continue watching the deer feed and the buck has now come out into the open. He slowly feeds but always keeping a steady watch for any danger. The does raise their heads, occasionally sniffing the air and watching over their young. Your legs are cramping from being in a crouch and ever so slowly and quietly to sit cross legged on the ground. You watch in silence as the fawns scatter about in playful bounces. Suddenly another buck appears and all the deer raise their heads and look over the new comer. This is a smaller buck and snorts once to the group. The larger buck ignores the yearling and continues his grazing.
The group turkeys are also putting on quite a display. A large gobbler struts his tails feathers in display of affection toward the hens. You can barely hear the slight clucks of the hens as they continue feeding. You are in awe at the sight of the fan on the gobbler. It is an amazing display to attract a hen to his side. Another gobbler approaches and a fight is started. The two gobblers jump at each other trying to sink the talons into each other, the gobblers bang their chests against each in a test of dominance. Finally after several bouts and feathers flying, the smaller of two is chased away in fear of the other. The pecking order now established the senior gobbler continues his amazing display of fanning of his tail feathers.
Suddenly the deer raise their heads and start smelling the air. One of the turkey hens also spots the danger and all eyes are on the woods to the left. The hunter has been spotted and the turkeys scatter in a display of feathers as they take flight. You keep looking to try and find the danger, and slowly you see a small red fox appear from the woods. The deer watch intently and a few snort their dislike. The fox stops and watches the deer intently. It is a stand off. Finally the older buck can take no more. He starts walking in the direction of the fox, head lowered. The fox takes the hint and scatters back into the woods. The deer all watch intently until apparently the fox has moved far enough away to not be a danger.
The light is starting to fade and you know the time has come to sneak away. The time will come when you return to hunt these majestic animals and you don’t want them to know that you were there. Slowly and ever so quietly, you back away into the woods. You slowly work your way back to your truck, still keeping an eye out for any other movement.
You reach your truck and climb in; you sit for a moment savoring what you have just witnessed. Your heart slowly returns to a normal beat and the adrenaline eases from your vanes. This day is one you will not soon forget. For you have witnessed one of the most beautiful sites a man or woman could wish for.
To be a part of nature and the animals that live there, there is no words to describe it. It is in our genes to hunt and this scene has played out many times before by those who came before us. There is no other feeling in the world quite like being in the woods and watching the beauty that unfolds before our eyes.
The spirit of the wild is not just hunting. It is getting back to our roots, being one with nature. That basic instinct has always and will always be with us. There are sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. I wish sometimes I could have been born back when animals ran rampant in the wild. But as a hunter, and sportsmen, I am required to make sure that my descendents will have the same opportunity as I have on this special day. I will make sure my son, daughter and grandchildren will experience the spirit of the wild. For that is my calling.
Born To Live Outdoors
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