No deer, but still a great deer hunt

The author bought a new blind to help stay dry during Michigan’s firearms deer season. (Photo by Tom Pink)

Much like Michigan Outdoor News Editor Bill Parker reported in his recent blog, I’ll count my opening-day firearm deer season experience as a success, even though no deer was tagged. I was hunting in Bill’s neighborhood and avoided the rain that most Michigan hunters had until later in the day.

But because of the forecast, I stopped at a sporting goods store on my way south to the Thumb and bought a small hunting blind to keep myself dry on the opener. It was the first time I’ve ever sat in a blind and, frankly, I did not like it. I did enjoy being able to sit out on the opener and stay relatively dry, but I hated the rest of it.

Crows, geese, blue jays, hawks, tundra swans – they all made themselves known through their calls but I could not shift my eyes skyward to see them. With the newfound freedom to move a bit in the blind, I brought along two books to read, but soon found that I did not like having to focus my eyes down on the book and then out in the woods and fields in front of me. I guess I’m not like the younger generation – I have a difficult time multi-tasking when I’m hunting.

So, I stashed the books and kept my eyes focused around the blind, when I wasn’t waking myself up with my snoring.

The opener was slow, with no deer but lots of squirrels spotted. The second day wasn’t much better, although deer were spotted. On the third day, a basket-rack buck chased a doe by me in bayonet-range, but I didn’t have my act together. I may have been sleeping. As exciting as it was, I missed my sole opportunity for my three-and-a-half-day hunt in the Thumb.

At the end of it, I desperately wanted to stay until the end of the firearms season, but it wasn’t so much for the deer as it was for the opportunity to hunt with the guy who inspired me with deer hunting excitement many years ago.

I’m not sure if Dad will be out for the hunt next year. I hope he is. If not, I hope he’s at least back at the camp working on dinner. After many years of not being serious about deer hunting, I’m not ready to give it up, and I know he isn’t, either.

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