Locavore Blog: What I Learned During my First Bow Season

My first bow season is over. In Vermont, bow season ended Sunday, spanning a few weeks (October 4-26). I can honestly say that participating in my first season was the highlight of this year for me. No, I didn’t get a deer, but my husband did, which means our family has fresh venison in the freezer.

My husband, Jason, heading out for the evening hunt.

My husband, Jason, heading out for the evening hunt.

We hunted on different ends of our property. I heard deer when they spotted me (before I spotted them), snorting and trumpeting ten yards away from my stand, which startled me. My trail cam captured images of them during the late night (10:30 p.m.), so I know they were there (just not when I was), which makes me aware that my first bow season was no different than what a lot of others experience.

Even though I didn’t get to use one of my broadheads, I did gain quite a bit from this first season. What I gained from spending time in a tree stand, watching either the sun rise or set, was a deeper appreciation for the nuances in nature that are often overlooked due to the busyness of life. Getting away from the hecticness and chaos that surrounded me in metropolitan Detroit was the catalyst for our move from city to country. Learning how to bowhunt and actually going out this fall gave me a better appreciation for squirrel warfare, black-capped chickadee songs, and the roar of the waterfall. These sounds made up my tree stand soundtrack.

Using our Honda Pioneer to transport our deer instead of dragging it.

Using our Honda Pioneer to transport our deer instead of dragging it.

From conversations I’ve had with many other hunters, it appears that Vermont has an incredibly short bow season. There will be an additional two week window that parallels muzzleloader season in late December, but for the most part, this first season is the main one (I think).

Pure Vermont: hunting meets farming.

Pure Vermont: hunting meets farming.

It was also an interesting juggle for my husband and I to trade tree stand time so that one of us was at home with our daughter. Typically, I went out in the mornings and he went out in the evenings, though I also went out several evenings following the success of his doe harvest as he took a few days off. Yes, he did get a doe during the first week only about 100 yards from our house and our freezer is full of the ultimate local meat.

Fresh venison to stock the freezer!

Fresh venison to stock the freezer!

How is your season going? Have you had any success?