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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

2007 Deer hunt

It’s been a while since I posted something on my blog. I have a good reason for that. I took my yearly deer hunting trip. For the last twenty years or so I take a week off in November and spend it in the wild, together with my son and four of my friends. During the day we hunt and in the evening we sit in the camper, play cards and talk about the hunt and old times. Over the years we’ve had some great times. This year we didn’t have any snow, other years we’ve had snow coming up to our knees. A little snow is welcome for tracking, in case we don’t put the deer down on the spot.
Some years it is freezing cold and I ask myself what I’m doing freezing my butt off. Other years, like this year, it gets too warm and we worry about the meat spoiling. When it is cold the bears are already sleeping, last year and this year they weren’t, but we didn’t see any, only their droppings.
I had an unexpected treat this year. I saw a bull elk from my stand lumbering across the clearing I hunt. It was unexpected, because their aren’t supposed to be any elk in there. One of my friends was also lucky to see one.
Why do I go deer hunting? Good questions and easy to answer. I like venison and I like the outdoors and the hunt. There is nothing more exciting then being in the bush, a rifle in your hand, and hoping a deer will come by. When it does, you usually have only seconds to react. Rifle up, finding the deer in the scope, lining up the crosshairs and then squeezing the trigger. That is the fun part, then comes the work if you didn’t miss. Gutting. If you only wound the deer, it has to be tracked until it is found. That is the law.
I’ve been fortunate most of the time. I usually put them down with one shot. Most of my deer I shoot at about 350 yards. I shoot a 7mm Remington. I like it because of its low trajectory. My rifle is adjusted to shoot 2 inches higher at 100 yards, which means at that distance I have to aim a little higher.
This year I was not lucky. I had 3 chances, not good, mind you, but not impossible. I noticed too late that I had adjusted my scope down to power 3, instead of power 9. I didn’t shoot a deer, but that is okay, because my son shot 2 nice bucks.
Maybe next year.
It is not only the shooting of a deer that makes the trip successful and enjoyable. That is part of it. Just being out there with nothing to worry about but the weather. No computer, no telephone, no obligations. Time to reflect and time to regenerate. Walking through the dark bush in the early morning to get to my stand. Watching the geese and crows fly overhead. At night, listening to the howling of the coyotes and watching the stars overhead, clearer in the night sky and more visible than at any time in the city, with the lights obscuring the view. Sleeping in a sleeping bag to the sound of a propane heater, waking up, because it is either too hot or too cold. Getting up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready.
Spending time with my son and friends. That’s what it’s all about. I don’t know how many years I can still do it, it is getting harder for me every year to climb into my tree stand. Next year it will have to be re-built. It is rotting away, it won’t be safe next year. I already picked a spot for the new stand.
Some day I won’t be able to do it anymore and that will be a sad time, but by then my grandson (or granddaughter!) will be old enough to take my place and carry on the tradition. Let’s hope there will be enough deer around for them and they will be able to enjoy what I have. I am grateful and thankful for the opportunity and I don’t take it for granted.

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