Deer hunting: time well wasted

If you’ve followed my columns or blogs, you’ve read that, for me, Oct. 1 is sacred.

Regardless of all else, I’m in the deer woods. I haven’t missed an Oct. 1 in the deer woods since I started bow hunting. Half the time, I don’t even know what day of the week it is, let alone the actual date. But if you ask which day on the calendar Oct. 1 falls, I’ll answer without a hitch.

Some hunters, such as my husband and brother, prefer to wait until at least the end of October before heading out for a sit in the stand. I label them as rut hunters (I’m not saying they’re preference is a bad thing, mind you). While antlers and rutting activity undoubtedly get my wheels rolling, deer hunting reaches far beyond that, at least for me.

I’ve never launched an arrow from above on opening day. Of course, this could change at any point. Sure, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to shoot a doe or a young buck, and granted, the temps are often warm enough that I wouldn’t want the meat left out if I wasn’t able to get it to our processor ASAP. But more than that, as cheesy and girlie as it sounds, it’s about peace – a feeling of utter solitude. I’ve waited almost nine months to experience this type of quiet again.

I can’t begin to count over the years the times I’ve been asked, “Don’t you get bored just sitting there?” And there have been times that’s irritated me. Maybe it’s like when someone says something negative about a family member or friend – it’s natural to get defensive of something or someone you care about.

Admittedly, yes, there are boring moments, and I doubt any other hunter would argue – especially on those long sits during the rut.

Come hunting season, I hate squirrels and wish they would all keel over, rendering them silent. However, that said, even if the only critter I see or hear is a stupid squirrel, I have never ended a day in the deer woods regretting it or thinking that I’ve wasted my time.

In the deer woods, nobody yells my name. Nobody judges me. Nobody wants money. Nobody expects a thing. And that, my deer-hunting comrades, is what I call time well wasted.

Categories: Illinois – Keri Butt, Whitetail Deer

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