One Empty Shell

I had the good fortune to be able to get back out in the woods today for what will be my last day of hunting this season. For those of you keeping count this is my second day out during the two week firearm season. Not the best number, but seeing as the last few years I didn’t get out at all I am more than happy to be able to get out even once. So today was my first time ever hunting from a tree stand, and now that I reflect back on it I think I rather enjoyed it. Getting up into the stand was an interesting experience, mainly because I was not familiar with getting into one and I was doing it in the dark. Once I was up and settled it was rather comfortable in comparison to sitting on a bucket or a folding seat on the ground. However I felt that my visibility was slightly limited because I didn’t have the ability to fully turn and see behind me. The overall dynamic of hunting from a tree stand is different and I am not a huge fan of, what I call, mid-heights (15 to 20 feet above the ground). So when I felt like the ground was spinning I assumed for a second that it was some sort of vertigo, but then I realized that the tree was swaying due to the wind. 🙂 The morning passed by peacefully and quiet, though I did hear a few shots way off in the distance. Then about 8am I watched as 5 deer (one of which looked like it might have had spikes) jumped the road and came running toward me through the field I was sitting next to. They were running about 30 yards away parallel and to the left of the stand I was in. I knew this would be the only opportunity I had to take a shot this morning, so I lead the first deer in the pack and when I got to the opening of my shooting lane I fired…and missed. The deer never slowed and I watched them bound down the field and up around a small finger of trees. I knew before I took the shot that the likelihood of connecting was very low for a number of reasons: the distance, the speed of their run, and the fact that I only had slugs to name a few. However, I also knew this would be my only opportunity of the morning so I took the chance. It was great to see them even though I didn’t get to fill a tag. At that point I had thought that I would be able to go back out in the afternoon, but as it turned out I was not feeling well and missed that opportunity. So my hunting season has come to an end and all I have to show is one empty shell. Better luck next year.

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