Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dear Hunting

Deer Hunting 

     Dear hunting season opened with the arrival of fall weather.  I was told the hunting was good in most areas around Stanford and particularly in the foot hills of the Belt Mountains.  Marie and I decided to try to bag a deer to help out with our food bill.  I had the rifle I used on the ranch, so we bought a deer tag and drove out in the hills early Saturday morning.  We were surprised at how few people we saw hunting.  I checked the date on the tag to be sure; yes the season was open.  The next surprise was the number of deer we saw.  Several jumped across the road ahead of us as we drove to the foot hills where they were starting to gather in small herds. 

     The area was open for either buck or doe.  We sneaked up a canyon toward one herd, similar to my hunting experience in the alfalfa field on the ranch.  There was little cover to hide our approach, but because of the terrain we were able to get close enough to try a shot.  We were crawling the last few yards to get as close as possible, so I rested the gun over my arm that was supported on the ground.  That made a good steady rest for the shot, but the distance was greater than I thought and the bullet struck at their feet.  They started to mill around as they didn’t know where the sound had come from.  This gave me the chance to get off another round.  This time the shot downed what I thought was a young buck but when we got to the fallen animal it was a large, barren doe.  After field dressing the animal I drug it down to the car which seemed a lot farther than the distance of our trip up the canyon.

     When we arrived at the apartment, I sought out the landlord and asked if I might hang the deer in a shed beside the house to cure.  She said that would be alright as it was an old garage, but no one used it anymore.  She cautioned me not to leave a mess in it.  We rented a freezer locker and filled it with wrapped packages of venison.  Later that fall the game department issued a second tag to hunters because of the over population of deer in the area.  We hunted the same area several times before we bagged our second deer.  We lived on venison all winter and it was good.

Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 2, Roles and Responsibilities of an Educator", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.  

No comments: