October’s Simple Deer Hunting Days
Got an e-mail earlier today from my friend William “Bubba” Graves, one that brought a smile to my face in this age of big buck mania (of which I’m as guilty as much as the next guy).
Bubba is one of two “Hunt Junkies” spending their time in the North Texas woods chasing a number of God’s critters around with bows, smokepoles, rifles, shotguns, and rods and reels while getting it all recorded on digital film and video.
The other original “Hunt Junkie” is Bubba’s brother, renowned wildlife and sporting photographer Russell Graves, a fellow I’ve known for years since he first stuck a Canon camera in my face in a red-hot Texas duck marsh.
Incidentally, that trip produced a close-up photo of me calling greenheads with my bois d’arc wood Carlson call, a Russell Graves original that ended up somehow becoming a two-page spread to illustrate a duck hunting article in a fall issue of the Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.
He must have had some dirt on the editor because they certainly didn’t pick that photo because of my boyish good looks.
Unless there was some airbrushed retouching going on, you know, Ralph Lauren style…
Anyway, that’s how I became to be known as “Mr. November” to my wife, not because of any supposed hunting abilities in the deer woods or duck marshes.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch today in North Texas, Bubba got ‘er done despite the dreaded October “big buck lull” sauntering into town as hunters await the November rut.
Sure prime time is still a few days away, but why let that spoil some deer hunting fun?
Bubba sure didn’t.
“Thought I would share a photo of the deer I shot this morning with you all. 15 yard shot quartering away. 80 yard recovery. Wes Wallace Royal Longbow (and) carbon shafts with Zwickey No Mercy Broadheads.”
What this e-mail and photo reminded me of today was of my very first deer kill, a North Texas doe that fell many years ago, albeit to a Remington 7mm Mag instead of a stickbow.
It also reminded me of the reason that I started deer hunting in the first place. It wasn’t to take a record book animal, although I wouldn’t have turned it down. And it sure wasn’t to get my name in print or to further any vain ambitions.
I tagged that doe because deer hunting seemed like a lot of fun and the idea was completely desirable to me despite my virtually non-existent skills (some would argue those skills remain non-existent).
And do you know what? When I shot that doe and recovered her, it was some of the best fun of my entire life up until that point in time.
In fact, with a huge smile creasing my face, I felt like the best hunter in the woods as I tagged, dressed, and drug out that whitetail for a date with the dinner table.
It was an event whose significance I still haven’t fully recovered from just yet.
And hopefully I never will.
Which reminds me – thanks to Bubba – where’s my bow?
I think I need to get out in the woods and have a little fun during this October lull.