hunting (patience) season is here

in the past 12 months i’ve already forgotten how much patience hunting requires.

today was opening day for bow season. i don’t bow hunt because i haven’t taken bow hunter safety and i don’t own a bow. and honestly, i’m not sure that i have the patience for bow hunting. it requires getting within roughly 40 yards of the animal, and hour upon hour of sitting and/or scouting an area. i like the idea of bow hunting, but for now i’ll stick to rifle season.

randy does bow hunt, and this morning i joined him in the woods. it started out crisp and uneventful, not seeing any animals. then he was nearly within shooting range of a doe, but the doe spooked.  then we saw a black bear. we tried to stalk it, but it was traveling rather fast for a black bear, and was clearly on a mission (as were we).  we went back to the truck and explored other sections of woods. we saw a nice buck dart across the road. i think the deer like to tease you like that – showing themselves as quickly as they’re hidden again. after all, it’s called hunting, and there is no guarantee that you will walk away with a harvested animal.

i thought that was a lesson i learned last year after a few frustrating hunting weekends at the beginning of the season. but i am already realizing that it is probably a lesson i will need to re-learn every fall. hunting isn’t meant to be easy, and for the animal’s sake, i wouldn’t want it to be. the actual hunt is the most exciting part. squeezing the trigger only takes a second.

we came home with a grouse, probably about a pound of meat. we discussed the morning, drank coffee, and had a relaxing afternoon. randy is back in the woods, probably hunkered down by a tree waiting for dusk when the animals begin to move again. i chose to stay inside this time. i have never hunted in this area so i have a lot to learn. thankfully randy knows these woods, or at least the area he hunts, like the back of his hand.

planning a hunt for rifle season. i like to hike to the tops of mountains and hunt down, which typically involves hunting mule deer.

planning a hunt for rifle season. i like to hike to the tops of mountains and hunt down, which typically involves hunting mule deer.

i was also reminded today how much i appreciate a freezer full of venison and that it’s not something to take for granted. sure, there are what seems like a gazillion deer in the area. but seeing one that you have a tag for, during hunting season, with a chance for a clean shot, is a whole other story.

in other hunting news, i had wild rabbit stew for dinner. i was nervous to try it, but randy shot a rabbit and had a stew cooking in the crock pot all day. we added farro, mushrooms, corn, onions, and spices. my first time eating rabbit (that i can remember), and i can honestly say that it tasted good. i had an adorable pet bunny growing up, so i’m not sure i could shoot a rabbit. then again, pigs are my favorite animal and i love pork.

rabbit stew

rabbit stew

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