(Photo property of kezi.com)
(I should have taken my camera, but didn't to save space.
The photo above looks very much like the area where we have been hunting.
Lots of scrub growth in areas that have been logged.
Not to worry, there are a bazillion small trees
planted to replace those that are gone...
and we all are careful to avoid doing anything to harm them.)
I know very little of hunting.
Fortunately I have experienced hunters to teach me.
I've been out hunting three times now.
Here are things that I have learned.
Hunting is a strangely quiet experience.
You hunt alone, even in a group.
Always take toilet paper with you!
The deer are far smarter than I thought.
There are different ways to hunt.
You can stake out an area... we don't.
Hunting has far more walking than shooting... I haven't shot yet.
You can have shooters and "dogs".
Dogs are hunters who thrash in the brush and make noise...
so that you know where they are and shoot the deer who
run out in front of them in a safe for the dog way.
My personal favorite is to find a nice little spot...
with a rock or tree stump to set my rump on and wait and watch for a bit before moving on...
Gradually moving along the route that leads to meeting up with the others.
It is very peaceful and my mind enjoys the sounds and sights of the woods.
It is very relaxing.
There is also "raod" hunting...
driving down little dirt paths and looking for deer in the brush.
It makes you sleepy.
Kind of evens it out for the deer.
Did I say that deer are much smarter than I thought?
When it is sunny, they hunker down and hide in the brush.
They are the color of the brush and you can't see them.
They come out of hiding when it rains...
because they can't hear predators when the rain drips...
they want to keep moving into more open areas to stay safe.
They want to see what might be hunting them.
So three days of hunting down and about three more weeks of hunting left.
I've enjoyed my walks in the woods more than I thought I could.
Hunters are automatically in the club and greet each other with silent waves.
They don't want to alert the deer, so they leave each other alone...
in a friendly sort of way.
Hunters take a ton of food to snack on.
Most take their wrappers away...
and my hunters carry a garbage bag to pick up what messy hunters leave behind.
We take coolers with WATER and soda in them.
I found the cooler very helpful...
as a step stool to get into Todd's truck.
Ford thinks that all people who drive standard sized trucks
are six feet tall and have legs that go on forever.
I do not.
I think the deer have very little to fear from me.
I try to walk silently, but still manage to make sounds.
I don't know if I will be able to move fast enough
to actually figure out if it has enough horns
and sight on it to fire before one bounds past me.
Or if I will be so surprised that I just gape at it.
Next weekend we will go again.
Saturday evening we have seats in Autzen to watch the Ducks in person.
Its a night game, so we will hunt only half day.
"half day" in hunting begins at 4:00 AM
and ends at noon or whenever your feet stop having feeling
and the damp has chilled you to the point of craving home.
I'm looking forward to another quiet walking day in the woods.
If I manage to shoot a buck...
But I'll enjoy it even if I don't see a single one.