You will have to forgive me for getting off track last blog post. Let’s get serious and talk about WHY deer hunting has such appeal, at least to about 11 million US hunters.
Deer hunting presents a terrific challenge. The whitetail deer is one of the most cautious and well-equipped animals in the Americas. A mature whitetail has:
- A terrific sense of smell that is their first line of defense,
- A 310 degree field of view for their vision,
- Huge ears that can rotate to pinpoint the slightest sound,
- A cautiousness that makes getting close to one for very long, a great challenge.
I mentioned two blogs back that the quiet solitude is terrific. That quiet solitude not only gives time to meditate, but also time to read. I read more during deer season than any other time of the year, except the beach, which is probably a close second.
I love the tastes of deer woods. Early in the season there are muscadines galore where we hunt. Muscadines have a special meaning for me, because my Dad introduced them to me, and I think of him when I taste that sweetness. From beginning to end, sugar berries, also called “bush huckleberries” by some folks, are another time honored tradition from my youth, and recalls long walks along the river with my Pop and brothers.
Next to the taste are the sights and smells of the woods. The fall leaves contribute both. The leaves of the tulip poplars, the hickories, the various oaks, and one of my favorites, the beeches decorate the forest first, then the forest floor. The woods has its own smell, which varies from time to time and place to place.
The weather presents its own challenge. Really cold, like 21 F calls for real insulation. A few years ago I figured out somehow that I could pack in an old, light, cheap sleeping bag and stay warm under every cold we have here. If it is under 32 F, I’m probably packing my bag.
There’s more I could tell you, but you probably can’t handle it now. Suffice it to say, that there is a lot of pleasure to be had in hunting.