Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Update on hunts

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

The 2011 Michigan archery season ambushed me. It was here before I knew it.

Ordinarily, as OCD as I am, I would have had all the necessary equipment ready to go for pre-dawn Oct. 1. But I had to work the night before, and rain and wind was in the morning forecast, so I waited until the evening sit. This would have been unheard of even only a couple of years ago.

The wife even said ... I think it was last year, that I don't go no matter what anymore, which was to imply that I am getting softer in my old age.

I look at it as being wiser.

And a casual opening day bow hunt turned traumatic when I got lost in a plot of public land near my house. This has happened before in the same area a few years back but I became more vigilant about carrying and USING the GPS to find my way out.

But another lesson was learned: not only did I accidentally turn the compass off -- why it wasn't working, duh -- but I couldn't make out the damn waypoints in the dark without my reading glasses.

To be fair, had the compass been on, I would've just maintained my bearing and headed due south in the direction of the truck. Instead I walked out of the woods to the north.

I did run into a deer in my madness. It was likely headed for my setup but didn't start early enough. So that was enlightening, meaning I wasn't just sitting there for nothing.

The next day was much easier as the tree I climbed into was just off a trail. And it was an morning hunt, so no walking out in the dark.

Saw fresh tracks there but no deer.

Today's mid-morning hunt -- which is how I will have to do it most of the season now that I have Mr. Mom duties and put the kids on the bus every day -- nearly paid off in a nice, plump turkey hen.

Despite not taking the blind, I still had game walking right up to me where I sat next to a familiar tree by the house. So I dispelled those aspersions that I would get busted well before I saw the deer. Or turkey. But the same was not true once I went to draw on the old girl. She sounded the alarm and away the flock went without me getting a shot.

But whatever, I was hunting deer. I'll likely see those girls again. So maybe it'll work out better next time.

Notably, this fall, I feel tremendous. It's amazing the difference in climbing the tree to walking through the timber. The secret was dropping 25 pounds.

My attitude has joined up with this reinvigorated body.

The confidence level is at an all-time high. I believe I'm at a place where I can drop something of consequence this season in the deer woods.

And it's about time.

I'm tired of being "King of the Six Points."


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