Never Take Hunting for Granted
As the years roll by I find that I enjoy the simpler things in life. For many years I only shot mature bucks with my bow. Now, I find great pleasure in grabbing my rifle and heading into the woods near my home to hunt whatever might show. Don’t get me wrong I think I’ll always target mature bucks during the rut with my bow. It’s just something I enjoy. But I can promise that after some health issues kept me out of the woods for bow season this year, I’ll never take hunting for granted.
This season I was fortunate enough to get well enough to make the opener of gun season with my new .44 Magnum Henry lever action rifle on my shoulder. I thought about adding a scope to the Henry, but after missing the archery season decided I wanted to keep it challenging. I left the factory buckhorns attached and hit the range. The Henry .44 shot like a dream. The best group was shot with the least expensive ammo I could find. The perfect gun for an old ragged meat hunter.
As always there was much fear of the hunter orange army beating me to the small parking area accessing the public ground I hunt. I got there nearly two hours before daylight to beat the army and take my time getting “back in there.” I made it to my favorite blowdown where I’d taken two deer last season. I constructed what we called a hog-blind, when I was a kid. Just piled up river cane and dead limbs for concealment. I was sipping a hot cup of coffee. My seat was a thick foam seat left over from an old treestand I had that my buddy backed over with his truck. The sun slowly rose and the woods came to life. I never saw another hunter.
There was some movement through the river cane in front of me. I got into hunting mode just in case and sat the coffee on the dead log. The Henry was made ready. I was beginning to wonder but over the years I’ve learned through hard lessons to give it a few more minutes when you think it ain’t going to happen. More times than not, or at least fairly often, it does. This time proved to be one of those times and the little 7 pointer stepped out and presented the perfect broadside shot. It was 30 yards.
I ended up with two deer that morning. The second was a young doe. Perfect for the pot. I can’t complain about missing the archery season. I’m alive and opening morning was rewarding enough. I’m learning the swamp that I hope to hunt for many years to come. The old hog-blind is fast becoming my favorite spot. My favorite because of the ease of access, its superb concealment and its superb location and deer producing qualities. I thought about deer hunting one more time but the freezer’s full. Besides, I saw a bunch of squirrels that morning. I can’t wait to shoulder my Henry .410 lever action and get “back in there.” K.McBroom