Monday, November 10, 2008

Outdoor Adventures with Jess & Ash

I decided that I’m going to be on a hunting television show someday, regardless of the fact that I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to accomplish this. I also decided that my friend Ashleigh will be my co-star, since she is the only girl I know who also likes to hunt and fish, and when we’re together hilarity ensues.

Since I don’t have my own show (yet) I decided to feature Ashleigh on some of my blog posts. I’m going to call these posts “Outdoor Adventures with Jess & Ash”.

We had our first outdoor adventure together last night: bow hunting on my property. I was the hunter and Ashleigh was the one-woman video camera crew. Might I add that in order to be the camerawoman you should put charged batteries in your video camera, a fact Ashleigh overlooked. So unfortunately, the only thing we had taped was my introduction to our imaginary hunting show. (Don’t worry - we learned our lesson so on our next hunt we will have video footage to post on here!)

It was the perfect night for a hunt, it was warm and there was no wind (I’m not sure if those are perfect conditions for actually seeing deer, but it was perfect for me so I didn’t get cold!). We set up my brand new pop-up ground blind in the corner of a field and unpacked the equipment: Bow, check; release, check; arrows, check; doe urine, oops I forgot that; binoculars, double oops; and a grunt call or doe bleat; triple oops. So aside for forgetting half of my hunting equipment, I was ready!

I am surprisingly very quiet when I hunt (perhaps because there is no one to talk to) and that hasn’t gotten me too far this season, so Ashleigh and I tried a different approach – we talked the whole time.

We sat in the blind for over and hour, chatting away, and seeing absolutely nothing. It was getting colder out so I put my bow down, put my gloves back on and made myself more comfortable. All of a sudden three heads bounded out of the forest to our left. As the three doe leaped through the field in front of us I excitedly threw my gloves off and picked up my bow just to have the arrow fall off. Then of course we couldn’t stop giggling which is never good while trying to remain incognito.

After regaining our composure, we silently watched the doe play in the field. They were never close enough for me to shoot. I can only accurately shoot up to 30-40 yards. Not to mention the weeds were so high I could barely see them, something I didn’t take into account when I set the blind up. We sadly watched the doe disappear to our right and then waited, hoping a buck might be following behind them.


Still Nothing.

Finally it was just about dark and we had given up. Ashleigh made some comment along the lines of “well the last three deer showed up when we weren’t paying attention, so we’ll probably see some more when we start packing up”.

I bet you can’t guess what happened.

I followed Ashleigh out of the blind making all sorts of noise when I practically ran into her; she was frozen and staring up the hill in front of us. There, about 70 yards away on the horizon line stood two more grazing doe. I crept back into the blind and grabbed my bow. When I walked out I saw the doe head into the woods. I figured I would be able to get a shot into the clearing in the woods if I walked further up the hill. On our way up I saw movement. The two doe had come back out of the woods and were standing right in front of us… only 50 yards away!! We stopped dead in our tracks, standing face to face with the deer assuming they would jump away any second.

They walked CLOSER to us!

Ashleigh and I stood frozen for a good five minutes just waiting to see what the deer would do. When they put their heads down we took a couple more steps then stopped as they looked up. This went on for another five minutes. These deer were either really brave or well aware of my shooting accuracy.

All I needed was to close up 10 more yards to shoot. We got a little closer and finally they spooked and ran into the woods. Our hunt was over, it was now dark out, but my heart was still racing. Finally all Ashleigh and I could do was laugh. It was the most interesting hunt we’ve ever been on. That is the kind of thing that makes hunting completely worth it, even if I don’t ever kill one thing (although that would give me something to brag about).

The fun didn’t stop there.

We had to fold up the pop-up ground blind. This proved to be slightly more difficult than popping it up. After ten minutes of Ashleigh reading me the directions while I attacked the blind from all angles, we gave up. Ashleigh walked the blind to the car and then we drove home… while we held the blind on top of the car’s roof with our hands. And so ends the first post of Outdoor Adventures with Jess & Ash.

Ashleigh dragging the ground blind to the car. I would have taken a photo of us with the blind on top of the car, but since I was driving, that would have been bad.

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