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1.) grandpawrichard - 05/24/2016
The Stealthy Hunter

Quite a few years ago (in fact about 20 years ago to be exact)I used to hunt Blacktail deer with a bow and arrow. I always hunted by myself because all of my friends were Rifle Hunters, so our hunting seasons were not at the same. \t

Besides that, I found the challenge of hunting with a bow much more fulfilling. You have to really hone your archery skills to Humanely dispatch an animal with a single arrow. You also have to Learn how to Think and Act like your Prey. A successful Bow hunter learns how to disappear into the woods using extreme concealment.

This brings me to a couple of little stories about my hunting episodes.

One morning, as usual I found myself out in the woods about One and a half miles from my pickup truck and it was 2 hours before daylight.

On my hike into my hunting spot I gathered a full armload of tree branches to use in my concealment tactics. When I arrived at my predetermined hunting spot I started to get myself all set up. I took off my backpack, laid it down and covered it with branches. Next, I set up my 3 legged stool. Then I put on my fancy Camouflaged Ghillie Suit, sat down and started weaving all of my branches into the suit until I was satisfied I looked like a bush. My final act was to lay my bow and arrow across my lap in the "ready Mode" and I laid a light leafy branch across it.

Now I was all ready to settle in, relax and listen for the woods to awaken. This is my favorite part of the day. The woods slowly transition from a black, dark and silent area into a beautiful, light, green and lively place. The songs of the birds is like a magical thing that soothes the soul and awakens the predator mode in me.

My hunting spot was next to a very well used Deer Trail, so I was quite sure I was going to be very successful if I played my cards right and if I took Careful aim when the opportunity presented itself.

There I quietly sat for about 2 1/2hours. Enjoying the solitude, listening to the birds and the woods and patiently waiting for a deer to happen by.

At about 3 hours into my hunt, I heard the sound of voices in the woods, it was the voices of 2 young men that obviously did not care or know about hunting. They talked Loudly and they walked just as loudly. The bad news was, they were getting closer and closer to me! I hoped that they would stay on the main trail and bypass the deer trail,
Sadly that was Not the case! Here they come, walking Loudly, Talking Loudly and Smoking Cigarettes, right down the deer trail beside me.
I sat there quietly and motionless, hoping that they would turn around, but also I wanted to really put my concealment attempts to a test.

The tactic worked quite well, The 2 Idiots walked right past me, they went to the edge of the grass filled clearing and stood 6 feet in front of me. Once there, they opened their packs and pulled out a can of beer to drink, they crushed out their cigarettes on the trail and lit up another. Then they decided that they had to Urinate right there! To put a full end to their fiasco they just dropped their empty beer cans at their feet and decided to go check out another spot!

That's when I Could Not Take Anymore! I YELLED At Them! I Yelled "What The Hell Are You Doing?" They Jumped a good 2 Feet off the ground like I had struck them with a Hot Poker! I scared the Hell out of them! Then I stood up with my bow in hand and asked them what the hell were they doing?

They were Totally Shocked that I was behind them and they asked me where the heck I came from because they had not seen me sneak in behind them.

I gave them a Stern Talking to, I told them that a True Hunter Never Walked or Talked as Loudly as they did, and that a true Hunter Never, Ever walked into a hunting area smoking and drinking, then throwing their cigarettes and beer cans on the ground. Nor did any true Hunter Ever Hunt an area Without carefully checking it out for wild game or other hunters! Finally I Made them Pick Up Their Trash and load it into their backpacks!

They did tell me that my Camouflage was working and that I did indeed look like a Big Bush (even when standing up)! They also told me that I did Indeed Scare The Crap Out of them!

After they left, I decided to pack it in for the day to let the woods and the animals settle down. There was no sense of staying there the rest of the day because of the Urine Smell and Cigarette Scent on the ground would scare the deer away.

This brings me to story number two:

On another day in the same spot, at the same time as before, with the same setup as before; I sat in my spot hunting for deer. This time I was kind of half asleep, when I was awakened by the loud snap of a twig, heavy foot steps and a distinct, but quiet woof, woof, woof with every step.

Hunting Instincts Kicked in! I sat there motionless and barely breathing. My heart started pounding with each footstep I heard. I surmised it was a hunter with a dog, but I was not sure.
Momentarily I found out what was making the noise. It was not a hunter with a dog! It was not a big deer or an elk! It was a Big Black Bear in the 150+ pound range!

My heart Almost Stopped! I was Afraid to breathe or for that matter move to quickly draw my bow to fire if I needed to! I sat there for what seemed like an eternity while the bear slowly walked within 6 feet of me and out into the grass filled meadow. When he got out into the meadow about 50 feet, I felt safe enough to take a deep breath and to relax! It seemed like it took my heart hours to quit pounding and for my hands to quit shaking!

I had Never Been That Close To a Black Bear in the wilds! It was so very Scary, but it was also exhilarating! It also reaffirmed to me that my Camouflage was indeed doing it's job!


Copyright by Richard M. (Dick) Raymond Jr.
May 24, 2016