Bow Hunting from a Woman’s View
By: Debbie Derck
The most important part of hunting is Safety! Always “Plan your Hunt and Hunt your Plan”. Let someone know the plan, so if you need help they will know where to go, and never, ever change the plan!
One of the most important parts of planning a hunt is deciding on the location. Where do I go, where do I sit, where do the deer wander around? I generally walk the woods watching for trails, as the deer love to take the easy path; they do not like obstacles. I search for the beaten path and I begin my plan. I hunt in a special place where the deer travel through a corn and bean field to enter and leave the woods. I have several tree stands placed strategically in the woods along different trails. Every year I see deer walk all around me and they don’t even know I am there; it is very exciting for me to watch them in their world. I love to hunt in the evening, as the deer are sleeping and I can sneak into the woods and prepare myself for when they wake up. When hunting at this time of the day, you have to be especially quiet so you don’t spook them. Deer are generally out all night eating, so when you hunt in the morning you need to sneak into your stand, get prepared and wait for them to return to the woods to sleep for the day.
I begin the quest throughout the summer, with cameras on trees, deer feed and salt blocks. I wait. I check my cameras about every 7-10 days to see what’s going on and what is lurking around. I usually see turkeys, raccoons, opossums, birds and a small deer or two. Occasionally, I see him. “The big one”−he stands there in all of his glory, he is the one I wait for, the one I dream about, the one that makes it from season to season; the one that keeps me coming back year after year. He looks into the camera as if he is saying “hello”.
I prep my tree stand, practice with my bow day in and day out. I wash my clothes in scent free detergent and spray them down with scent free spray. They hang outside for a week before opening day. I wait. On opening day, I get up around 4:30 in the morning; I prepare for my peace in the woods with just my bow, my tree stand and myself. I get dressed outside so my clothes don’t smell like the house. I put my hair up in my camo hat, put all of my camo gear on, grab my fanny pack, my bow and I’m off. Once inside the dark woods, I locate my tree stand, climb 16 feet up and get my safety harness hooked up. I then get my bow locked and loaded and then…I wait. A hunter never knows what she will hear or see in the woods, the squirrels that pester you and make you think a deer is coming up behind you, the turkeys that fly down from their roosts as if they are saying you missed me in the spring. Sitting there waiting for that special buck that you think about walking with in range is priceless. I do these same routine a dozen or two times before I settle for my trophies.
I settle for a beautiful 8 point buck. I get a doe or two before the season is over. At the end of the season, I clean my clothes, hang them down stairs, hang up my bow and …I wait.
I wait for next season to do it all over again; to be excited for September to finally arrive and to prepare all over again for the chance to see “the big one”.
Our deer season starts Saturday, September 24, 2011 and ends February 5, 2012, I am an early bow hunter and yes, I think I have waited long enough.
If you would like to learn the ends and outs of hunting contact your local DNR (Department of Natural Resources) for more information. Hunting truly is an experience you will never forget.
Name: Debbie Derck