Sunday, October 28, 2007

Holiday for hunters

Happy rut to you.

This time right now -- end of October to the first two weeks of November -- is almost a holiday for us crazy bowhunters. Many of us will plan our vacations to coincide with the rut.

It is when Mr. Big Buck is most vulnerable. Largely reclusive and nocturnal, he has no choice but to seek and find a willing mate. So out of his shadowy confines he comes, may it be a dark unnavigable swamp or a thicket so dense only mouse could slip within its center.

It is amazing to me how I'll be going through the motions out in the woods for most of October until it hits, and boom, I'm stoked.

Even what might fall under the description of "lesser hunts," such as a pheasant hunt, is not as appealing as being 20-feet high in a tree, bow in hand with the potential shot at the giant antlered one.

Which is what happened to me tonight. I was planning a "lesser hunt" for Sunday, Oct. 28, with a friend of mine -- who shall remain nameless -- and I got let off the hook. I mean I wanted to go and all for the dog and a chance to add to the bird I nailed last weekend but the allure of the rut kept pulling at me.

It was purely unintentional when I asked my friend's wife over the phone if she knew if her husband and I "were on for Sunday."

Later at work it began to sink in. She's going to put the damper down on this whole pheasant deal, I thought to myself.

And when his email came through a couple of hours later confirming my suspicions, I felt like a mystic.

I felt badly for him but now I was full-bore set on hitting the buck woods, and made the arrangements to do so.

After a couple weeks of running ragged from mandatory work training to watching kids to actually hunting, this gig is perfect.

I've been so busy I've hardly time to put entries in this blog or in the hunting magazine, another concern of mine.

But I'm not a total loss for I've been journaling the old-fashioned way.

Two of the excerpts from that journal are of a deer hunt aptly titled, "Notes from a Michigan bow hunt," and the other, "Pheasant shocker."

A couple of the best lines from the later, a Sanilac County outing, are as follows:

"Here's the thing about bow hunting: Just when you think should be bird hunting 'cause you're knocking everything down you're pointing the gun at, that extra day spent instead in the tree stand is the time Mr. Big appears ...

"I've found over the 14 years of bow hunting whitetails that I get at least two quality opportunities on bucks in a season. And depending on how good of a spot it is, I may get three to five chances ...

"The key is what I do with those scenarios."

Moving on to the "Pheasant shocker," what is the real surprise is the number of awesome opportunities our party had patrolling the Ingham County fields for roosters:

"I never thought when we began our Oct. 20 opening day pheasant hunt in Michigan that we'd end the day with 21 flushes in three hours. ...

"For a moment, I just stood there with my mouth hanging open hoping Walt would see the bird. But he didn't despite me then jumping up and down shouting, 'On your left, bird on your left.' ...

"But ... you must shake those missed opportunities because they'll interfere with next ones you may get ... And more we got. Plenty more."

To find out how the story ends and to see photos, you'll have to log on to

That's enough from me. I need some rest for my buck hunt tomorrow. Or is it today? I can't think anymore.

Good night.


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