A hunting she will go

Steve PiattWhen Paula told me she "might" want to hunt deer this year, I wasn't surprised. I could see it coming in recent seasons when she would lament the end of the spring gobbler season, in the fall when she'd remind me we don't have a quality pheasant dog, and again in November when I'd head out with some regularity during deer seasons, both Northern and Southern zones.

And after 25 years of marriage, a guy gets a pretty good handle on his wife's definition of "might."

That's why I'm already planning – and yes, looking forward to – this coming deer season. I'm pretty sure Paula will be out there with me as much as her schedule permits, and she's perfectly capable of taking to the woods – well, at least the local woodlots – by herself if I'm strapped to the desk.

My first order of business, now that it appears I'm getting into the whitetail guiding business with Paula as my first and only client, was to line up a firearm for her. I kicked around the .243 and the 7mm-08, before settling on the .243 because that's what a buddy offered to loan me for Paula to use this fall. Yeah, I know I'm frittering away a perfectly legitimate excuse to buy a new rifle but, at least this time, cooler heads have prevailed. We'll see how it goes before we get one of her own.

Perhaps the biggest reason why I'm not buying a new deer rifle for Paula is because she's never killed a deer. I don't think it will be an issue when the time comes, and I don't see her standing over a fallen buck or doe and deteriorating into a weeping mess. She's been around deer kills before; she just hasn't taken one herself.

Her biggest concern at this point is making a quality shot. That's an attitude we could use more of in the deer woods, and I'm guessing when the moment of truth comes she'll be, at least, taking a quality shot. And judging by her track record on spring gobblers, a clean kill is likely. Or, another distinct possibility, a passed shot until a better opportunity comes along. Paula tends to be pretty patient looking down the barrel.

So this coming deer season – and really, it's not that far off – is already offering up a little excitement and more anticipation than usual. 

Categories: New York – Steve Piatt

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