The outdoors has special meaning to me. I caught my first fish at age 4 and shot my first duck at age 9. Nearly four decades later I still get excited when I get to spend any time outdoors. A lot has changed during that time but the anticipation and experiences are still similar and just as exciting. It’s a great place to be....Read More
These days I enjoy many different types of hunting. I’m an avid, some might say rabid, waterfowler. I love to bowhunt and have traveled the country doing so for various big game species, although I’m fairly content with Kansas whitetails and turkeys now. And when it’s not hunting season I’m usually fishing. I love to fish for walleye, crappie and channel catfish. I’m at home on the front of my boat on a big reservoir or wading a small Flint Hills stream. It’s all good.
Throw in a recent bout with the trapping bug and decades of camping with family and friends and it’s obvious I have an addiction for the outdoors.
Many of my most memorable outdoor experiences in recent years have centered on those with my children. My 18-year-old daughter and twin 12-year-old boys have been a major part of my outings. Watching their eyes light up as they realize the wonders of Mother Nature and her bounty likely has even more meaning than my own personal satisfaction. Spending quality time with them outdoors carries significant and substantial meaning, no matter what we’re doing.
In this Blog I’ll attempt to relay some of the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from being outdoors. Topics covered will be broad in scope and run the gamut. It’s all fair game. If you can sit at your computer and read a particular entry and it stirs you to try it, or helps make your experience more enjoyable, I will be pleased. And if it does nothing more than make you smile or laugh that too, will please me. The outdoors is truly a great place to be!
Friday, December 21, 2012
NO TAG SOUP
But this year was MUCH better! A nice, big doe fell to an arrow after just a couple sits. Other opportunities came and went, by choice, and then on Veteran's Day I had a really nice hunt. I had just crawled into my stand and attached my safety belt at about 2:30 p.m. It was just a few minutes later when I heard a chainsaw crank up several hundred yards down the creek. Minutes later my heart would start racing.
I first saw the buck as he trotted, likely boogered by the human activity, towards me entering the timber from the field's edge. I didn't get a good look but enough I dismissed him as too small. However, once inside the timber I got a better look and he "grew" and I knew I had to decide QUICKLY as he was coming fast behind me from my right.
I grabbed my bow and turned and as he got closer I decided I was going to shoot if I could get it done. As the buck closed the distance I tried to draw my bow only to have the safety strap on my vest catch my elbow and prevent me from getting to full draw. I wiggled a bit and finally got to full draw and grunted to stop the trotting buck. He didn't hear it and another grunt got him skidded to a halt a mere 10 yards away.
It was an easy shot distance-wise, but I was all kinked up trying to shoot behind me to my right (I'm right handed). And when I get buck fever it's a full-blown sickness. If buck fever is a temperature of 101 degrees, I get to about 106 degrees in short order! Despite three decades of bowhunting experience I still get fired up! The resulting shot wasn't a good one and I knew it within just a couple minutes.
I figured I should probably come back the next morning and look for my buck. I sat in my stand for another hour and watched a fork horn buck come down the same trail and stop and smell the spot of the impact. He continued walking, unalarmed whatsoever, and stepped right on my arrow!
The night was long and sleepless, but fortunately near freezing so I knew if I could find my buck the meat would still be good. I got on the trail at 8 a.m. and it wasn't long and I found him. It was a bit of an ordeal to get him out of the woods but in the end perseverance, patience and persistence paid off.
As I tagged the unique-looking whitetail (he had a nice, main-framed 5 points on his right side and a big, alligator-foot-shaped left side with another dagger coming out of the base), I was thrilled to be on the board again. No tag soup this year and those venison steaks were mighty tasty!