Editors Blog

Deer Hunting Success Transcends Just Seeing Deer

For Deer & Deer Hunting Editor Dan Schmidt, this is pure therapy.

It happened again last night … like every night (or morning) when I return from hunting. "Did you see anything?"

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dread the question. In fact, I relish it. "I most certainly did," is my new reply. "I saw a lot."

"Deer?"

"Well, no."

"So your sit was bust?"

"Absolutely not."

No, I didn’t see a deer. Well, not while perched in my stand with fingers pressed to bow-string, anticipating a shot. I did spook one while walking to my tree stand, so that does count. But I am happ saw a lot more than that.

As the afternoon wore on, I saw a literal parade of blue jays that worked this creek bottom for bugs and grasshoppers. When they weren’t foraging, they dive-bombed the stagnant pools and splashed about, bathing themselves in an effort, I presume to rid themselves of lice and to cool off from the unusual 74-degree October heat.

I also saw a jumbo gray squirrel foraging for acorns. And a pair of hairy woodpeckers take turns hammering away at a rotten cherry tree. And a sentinel crow summoning his bandmates for dinner near a distant road-killed raccoon.

I saw the sun rotate from my left shoulder to my right, then dip far below some majestic white pines. I saw yellow and brown and crimson leaves flutter to the forest floor by the hundreds.

No, I didn’t see a deer while hunting, but I certainly did see something. And it was all absolutely beautiful.


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