No, I really do not hate deer season. Anyone who knows me and/or reads this column knows that deer hunting is a large part of my life and of my family’s heritage and tradition.
In fact, I am right in the middle of one of my best seasons in a long time. However, having spent over 100 hours in the deer woods over the past few weeks, there are a few observations I would like to make about the frustrations, aggravations and consternations of deer season.
Many of the things I am about to describe are shared by all of us who enjoy spending time in the woods. Some are unavoidable, while others are self-inflicted.
Either way, these things tend to test my patience while chasing venison for the table.
First, let’s look at some of the things that Mother Nature throws at us. Weather is an obvious foe. I hate deer hunting in 70-degree temps. Perspiration and deer hunting just do not mix.
So, I complain about warm weather… until it gets cold. Then a whole new list of complaints emerges, including numb toes, fogged glasses and frozen canteens.
And there are so many distractions in the timber. I hate those long stems with three or four leaves at the very top. Every time the wind blows, I reach for the safety. Even after doing this countless times, each time the leaves blow in the breeze it looks like deer movement.
What I call ragweed does the same thing. And how about that single leaf that is attached to its branch with a rubber band? It just hangs there and spins, endlessly. I hate that!
There are few things that can wake you up from a deer season nap quicker than falling hedge apples. The bitterly cold temperatures this month, combined with some very windy days, caused hedge apples to fall on a regular basis. I reached for my gun on an equally regular basis.
How about squirrels? I can never find them when I am carrying a .22, but give me a bow or a muzzleloader and they come to me like bees to a bloom. I can never figure out if the two that seem to always live in the same tree as my stand love each other or hate each other. It is hard to tell by the endless chasing.