A Beautiful Frustration
This morning I thought that all would change. I spend yesterday afternoon with the woman who now runs Maurice Sendak's old farm. She's a friend of a friend and recently attended the Wool Workshop I noted here last weekend. She gave me permission to hunt there, 160 acres only one other person is hunting! Hoo! SO I got up early this morning, let out the dogs, and grabbed my gear for the truck and wouldn't you know it? Flat tire. And I don't mean a low tire, I mean comically flat. There's a spare under the bed of the pickup but (and I am embarrassed to share this, but what the hell) I have never changed a tire. I understand how to, have watched it being done, but have never done it. I also don't have the jack or wrenches to do it, and the truck supposedly came with one but its not there anymore. So I let out a defeated sigh. The wild things will remain where the wild things are...
So I shrugged and figured I would hunt here. I headed into the woods where I had tracked deer last night, loving every second of being out in the forest at night. I had no gun, just the half light of the half moon and followed their heart-shaped hooves across stream and drift. I found where they slept the night before, found frozen (but fresh!) droppings and listened to the barred owls in the distance. This morning I didn't see any deer until I stopped walking and sat still in my little outhouse pop up blind facing the farthest pasture and hillside woods. Then I watched three does run across the forest and up over a rise before I even had a chance to lift my rifle. I waited for an hour for them to maybe come back to my line of sight but they didn't. And so I decided to head indoors, the hours before and long after sunrise gone and I had a house to heat, work to do, a tire to figure out, feed to order, and a house to clean before Game Night tonight. I would try around dusk and watch the woods some more. When the tire is fixed I'll return to the Sendak Estate and hope the deer there move slower or I get wildly lucky.
So far this experience with rifle season has been a beautiful frustration. It's such an act of hope, luck, an timing - this hunting thing. I have collected better gear, better aim, and better understanding of the woodcraft and skills of the hunt - but have not taken a deer yet. There's another week and I hope to get lucky, but even if I don't I only have even more fuel and excitement for next year's hunt. Or perhaps I'll spend a few more bucks and try muzzleloader season into Yuletide. Some friends have offered to teach me how to use modern black powder rifles and others even offered to loan me theirs. Folks with deer in the freezer already, of course. And I would do the same for them.
So this is why the blog and vlogs have been thin. I am out on the hunt. Out where the deer are flying and laughing and hope shines as bright as the half moon on cold creek water. That last sentence is good enough for me to try another year.