Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Season's over. I'm beat up. From Oct. 1- Dec. 18 I've been in the woods almost every day. On certain levels it's been one of the most enjoyable seasons of my life, but on others one of the most frustrating. I killed deer, but I also missed and wounded animals with the gun and bow. Unlike on TV hunting shows, there is no camera man over my shoulder. There is no video to review at the end of the day to see where the shot went. All you are left with is scuffed leaves, hair, blood or just the empty woods and a pit in your stomach.

Yesterday, after realizing that there was little chance of getting on deer by sitting in the wet woods all day, Savage, Old Bob and i decided to spend the last day of muzzleloader putting on drives for each other. We started behind the shack. This time I put Savage on the field edge and walked OB behind the house. My plan was to set him up, then back track and push from "the Russians". As I was pointing to where I wanted Bob to stand he whispered "There's deer." and "My gun's not loaded." All I saw was flags.
I left OB to load his gun and swung around to get in front of the herd. A half hour into the drive and I spotted a doe standing against a deadfall, watching me. I shouldered the gun, cocked the hammer and fired. Through the smoke I saw her duck the deadfall and disappear. My heart was racing, but I calmed down, reloaded, and went to look for blood. I found white hair. FUCK! I'd either skimmed her belly or gut shot her. How? Instead of pushing her, I continued the drive and got Savage and OB to help with the track. A hour later we'd found more hair, but no blood. The plan was to continue the day and come back in the morning. I felt lousy.
   The rest of the rainy afternoon of drives produced more deer. OB shot a nice doe and as darkness was falling one last drive at Paradise Pond put 3 does in my foggy crosshairs. They were headed for the road. So I ran to get in front of them and was able to get on the lead doe. I had no idea where Savage was, but knew he was coming my way. The split second indecision over pulling the trigger was enough to put the deer in motion. I fired and as i did I felt sick. Why the fuck did I take that shot? Shooting when not knowing where your drivers are is the #1 sin in this kind of hunting. I immediately got on the radio. Savage answered. As it turned out he was safely far back and well out of range, but I couldn't shake the nausea. In the words of Buddy Budde "I'm such an asshole."
   At daylight I went back to search for the doe. I looked all morning and found nothing- no hair, no blood, no deer. I have no idea how badly she was hit. But I know she was hit. I came home completely demoralized. In my other little facebook universe things were going just as badly. In an attempt to provoke some meaningful debate on guns I'd posted a photo of an old piece called SWF-LAX Gun Carry. Timing is everything and less than a week after Newtown my so called "friends" were up in arms over this. I'm not one to preach to the choir, so I was predictably taking hits from all sides. I wish I could let this roll off my back, but I'm too sensitive. My motives have been misread and misconstrued to the degree that I feel under siege. My real "friends" sit on the sidelines and watch in silent amusement. OK, I got wide shoulders. Pile it on. Just know that I'm as heartbroken as the rest of you over the senseless killing of those kids and my wounding of any animal. I wish I could just crawl into a hole. But A PUSSY RIOT XMAS PARTY OF THE LITTLE GREEN MAN is this Saturday @ 6pm. No time to mope. There's trees to trim and mistletoe to hang. The herd's moved on. May first is turkey season. I have all winter to see if I can ever hit anything that tiny. HAPPY HOLIDAYS. Hope you all come out the woods safely.    


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