First Hunt

We got together around 3:00 in the hot afternoon to transport the freezer (the private hunt-bait/price), and Aaron says to me “Get your gun and gear on, I guarantee we’ll see deer and you may want to shoot one.” What? I thought we would have a sit-down meeting first, discuss impact points, catalog – shit, hurry-up! I guess it doesn’t work that way – still we weren’t burning daylight yet and I had time to go gear-up.
We returned to the Ranch and I got into my $14 WalMart MossyOak pants and $7 shirt. Got the rifle into a case, filled the water-bladder in the RealTree day-pack, threw in the box of ammo and first-aid kit, grabbed the binocs and the hunting tag, and away we went to the private 160-acres. Must have got up there about 4:00.
Turns out “hunting” is just walking around in the woods wearing funny-looking dye-sublimated forest-prints on a hot day carrying a rifle.
This drought and the current leaf-drop season has had the added benefit of making such walk in the woods like a walk through a giant bag of potato-chips. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. Every step up the hillside through the trees to the ridgeline was amplified in my Peltor electronic muffs so much that they kept “clipping” the noise, as if shots were fired. So I took them off. The hell with it.
We observed good muzzle discipline. We saw several Does, bedded down (unusual – they were down in a hollow) and with last nights nearly full moon, The Rut should be coursing up good and hard in the Bucks. Or they took their Prozac. We saw and heard turkeys flying over, but saw no Bucks. We saw sign of bear and scat of coyote, but no Bucks. The quiet-cloth pants are excellent burr catchers, and the swish-swish of fabric pants were never such a problem compared to the outrageous and flamboyant noise of marching through a hillside of corn-flakes.
A bit of rain would help dampen the sound – and that’s forecast for Wednesday, so…maybe we’ll get luck in that weather-event. But now at least we’re on the same page, and given his enthusiasm to hunt I’m sure Aaron will want to get out there again – and I’ll go along learning.