Thursday, November 05, 2009

Okay, so enough of the hunting stories! Schewww...what a crazy season! Now that my hunting season has pretty much come to a close (I hear a collective sigh of relief!) I finally got my family to my personal outdoor studio for a few shots. When I say a few, I mean that literally. My boys don't like to have pictures taken much but they cooperated graciously and this is what the self-timer captured!

Now I can get take advantage of early bird specials on holiday cards...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I know...I promised no more dead animal pictures but this story is just too amazing not to share. This is my buck I got Saturday night. My first deer ever in my life. What makes the experience so special is 1) I got him with my bow which is very hard to do 2) I've tried for over a year to get a deer and 3) I did it with my husband, a hunter for his whole life.

Seth has taught me everything I could ever know about bowhunting. We talk about it over supper, we watch the hunting shows together and analyze each hunt, we plan future hunting trips together. He guides me, teaches me and we love doing this sport together.

Bowhunting is so much more than I ever thought. There is so much planning, so much research and technique is everything. Seth has several game cameras on the land we hunt. He brings home the memory cards and we sit by the computer and see what kind of deer happened to roam by. He studies the wind direction, moon phases, dusk and dawn times, it all plays an important role in getting as close to the deer as you can. Unlike rifle, the furthest away a deer can be from me is 30 yards. Seth can shoot further but I'm a rookie. So basically it's a whole year of planning, putting up tree stands, setting game cameras, studying the tracks, scrapes and signs of deer. And then deer season opens.

Seth and I went out a few times before this weekend, got my turkey and he got his monster buck. But my deer luck just hadn't panned out. I would sit in my stand for hours and maybe would see one or two deer, always too far away. So I told Seth...take me out Saturday. I feel like it could be lucky.

We checked the wind direction, drove the 40 minutes to my stand, told Seth goodbye until dark and there I sat. I was up in a tree 10 feet off the ground. I smelled like a tree, thanks to the special bark soap I used before we left and settled in for the next 3 hours. It was quiet. I started thinking about stuff, the kids, life. I was actually pretty close to God (literally) being so high up off the ground. Still quiet. I could hear rabbits, birds, squirrels messing in the trees but nothing else.

An hour went by, another hour went by. I was starting to get a little antsy. You see, you can't move much while you're in the tree. Why are there so many deer pics on the game camera on this exact trail but when I'm here, nothing shows up? So I started talking to God. I mean He was right there. I whispered to Him, "God, just send something out in my view. I don't care if I can't shoot at it, I just really want to watch something. I'm getting anxious! so please, God, send me a raccoon, any critter at all. Thank you, God."

I swear, it was not 15 minutes later...a buck came out of nowhere on the trail. It was a little buck but I secretly whispered, "thank you God". Then a BIG buck came right behind. He was in my range! I stood up slowly, drew back my bow, grunted to make him stop...and shot. I missed! He ran behind a tree and came out a minute later with this curious look on his face. He looked around, put his nose back on the trail and went on his merry way. Darn. I was bummed. There was my chance and I missed. But then a couple of minutes later, I heard rustling right beneath me. I saw it was a deer and it was heading right in the clearing below me. So I stood up drew back and the minute I saw antlers, I grunted, found my spot and shot. I hit it! I couldn't believe it. I was in shock. It all happened so fast. The deer ran off and I heard a loud crash in the trees. Then silence again. I sat shaking for 10 minutes, talking to God the whole time, thanking Him for how He continues to bless me and how awesome His land is. I thanked Him over and over again. I couldn't WAIT to tell Seth.

Seth came to pick me up, I muttered out the news and all he could say was, "no way, no way..."

I cried out of pure excitement and adreline. He asked me how big it was and I told him I had no idea. I only had this tiny window of opportunity so when I saw the horns, I just let the arrow fly. It was the most amazing thing I have done in my life.

We went back the next morning, Seth turned on the camcorder and this is what we found. This is my trophy. A 5x4 buck I shot at 11 yards. Seth and I hugged, I cried (again) and he was just as excited as I was about it! There is no feeling like it in the world.

We donated the deer to charity so my buck is feeding lots of hungry families in the area. The horns are going to mounted on a plaque and displayed so we'll never forget this most special weekend. Know what else? Halloween night also marks 19 years ago when Seth and I met...if that's not a God thing, I don't know what is.

Thank you again, God. You are always there listening. Always.