The most important thing I learned during hunting season…

Sunday, January 4, 2015 was the last day for whitetail hunting here in Tennessee. Saturday had been a rainy day, I learned that deer don’t move much because they can’t see well in the rain. No sense in hunting, so we waited til afternoon to go get Michael’s hunty spot set up for one last hunt. (and by we, I mean Big Sexy went and did it himself while I goofed off)

5:00 am Sunday morning came early, the ground still wet from the 3 days of downpour that had just recently subsided, and the bed was all warm and cozy. I almost hit the pillow, but he had already turned the light on, I started some coffee instead.

It was quite warm (mid 50s) when he started the Tahoe, the weather lady said that was going to change by a couple degrees each hour on out. We went ahead and donned the cover-alls, gloved up, and hit the road.

It was still dark when he parked the buck box at the usual spot.

I started calling our blind the buck box after I got my first buck. It held true to it's name on closing day.

I started calling our blind the buck box after I got my first buck. It held true to it’s name on closing day.

Sunday was not the first time I’d been on my own. There have been a few times that he hung out in his tree stand a hundred yards away while I had the awesomeness that is this blind all to myself. Sunday was different though, after unhitching the blind and firing up the heat (part of the awesomeness) He drove off. Normally I can see where the guys park when they go further back, but watching him through the window, I lost track of him before he even parked. He was far enough away that I couldn’t see his flashlight and he probably couldn’t hear me knocking the coffee thermos over.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous, and glad to feel the phone buzz when he texted to see if I was ok. Since I had a good hour til sunup and the radio didn’t bless me with some Nick Jonas on the trip to, I hit up youtube to get my Jealous on. Our teen says I’m too old for teenybopper music, but seriously, that song wakes me up and makes me want to dance, so take that brat!

After the video, I still had pert near 56  minutes of dark left. I did what any other girly girl huntress would do in that situation and opened a window to have a look-see. With the moon closer to full than not, I was able to see across the way, something glowing, eyes? I pulled out the binoculars, but it was too dark to see what it was. What ever it was, it wasn’t moving, the eyes would glow, and then they wouldn’t.

Deer aren’t the only things that hang out at the hunty hole. There are also coyote and bobcats. I only hunt what I eat, so I wouldn’t hunt either, but I wouldn’t want to be vittles myself. I took Thor out of his case and loaded him up. (Thor is my muzzle loader) I re-filled my coffee and continued my stare down with the glowing eyes.

Finally, the sun came up. I couldn’t find the thing with the glowing eyes, so I opened the back window to check out the scenery.

The view from behind, nice, huh?

The view from behind, nice, huh?

Every now and then a birdy will come, lighting on the window ledge and I never have my phone ready. Sunday, my phone was ready, but none came calling. I did see a murder of crows hanging out in the distance. With sunup and quiet time in full force, I sat watching and waiting for the sound of Big Sexy’s rifle, sure that the need for Thor passed away with the sun coming up and the disappearance of the glowing eyes.

Giggling to myself about how the weather lady had made a mistake, I started to turn off the heat when the cool wind started rising. Instead, I closed up some of the windows to keep the heat in. There was movement out front on the mountain of earth, but it was some cut down brush and the wind. I pulled my deer call can out of my backpack, but just set it beside the coffee thermos and put my gloves back on.

Not long after the cold winds, it started getting hot in the blind, time to open up the windows when I heard a slight thud. I figured it was the crows again, so no need for ninja like stealth when opening the back windows. Thud said the wood on wood as I let the window plop. To my amazement, there was a buck almost upon me. Because they can’t see me if I close my eyes (the things we tell ourselves when practicing being invisible), I closed my eyes and shut the window.

I picked up Thor and for a moment I thought maybe the guy had run off while my eyes were closed and the back window was shutting, when all of a sudden he was beside me.

When I got the big guy, I was nervous. The scope jumped with the beat of my heart. This time, the only thing on my mind was needing one more for the freezer. Most likely, there was time to put on the ear muffs, but I didn’t think about them. All I thought about was breath, aim, cock the hammer, pull the trigger.

There had to be a boom, I saw the muzzleloader smoke, my phone vibrated. “Are you Ok?” he asked, I couldn’t reply because by the time I got the text was too long of a wait for him and he was calling. “Hey Big Sexy, I got him” I answered. “Ok, just stay put.” he replied, “I’m on my way.” I was pretty sure he was the same guy that was stalking me during fall turkey season, so I said “I think it was my lil boyfriend from turkey season”

Fall turkey season, had to shoo this guy away and away, and away.

Fall turkey season, had to shoo this guy away and away, and away.

It took a couple days and Big Sexy looking at the pictures to see that it wasn’t my lil stalker, but maybe his cousin, brother, or nephew. While they both had deformed racks (one “horn like antler” and one stumpy) the stalkers was on the left, and this guys was on the right.

Hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed, free range, as primal as it gets.

Hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed, free range, as primal as it gets.

During hunting season, I learned that being in Unit L, the deer population is at epic proportions. So much so that during archery and muzzleloader season the bag limit is three antler-less per day, three antlered total season, even so many as to offering a Type 094 for an extra three antlerless per day during big gun season. Harvesting deer in such a densely populated area like middle Tennessee helps to cut down on the disease and starvation that comes with the ever expanding population. It also makes for a nice protein source in this day and age of feed lot, hormone and antibiotic injected, buy it at the grocery store fare.

While I learned that I could hang with the guys and not “girly girl out”, it wasn’t the most important thing. The most important thing was something I’ve known all along, just kept it at the back of my mind, thinking surely all this walking and hiking, toting wood in the summer, thanks to the awesome neighbor who had a few large trees taken down, lots of movement, and any movement is exercise…

You just can’t “out-exercise” a bad diet. During hunting season, I consumed some things I hadn’t consumed in years, all my rules went out the window because my blood glucose was still pretty good. My weight though, was creeping up on me. How much? I didn’t know, my camo pants were getting snug, no one could see my yoga pants under my coveralls, I hid the scales. I’d weigh in after hunting season. My size eights evolved into size tens, then to twelves, so I’d wager that I packed on some poundage in my plot to out exercise my really bad diet.

If I could change anything at all about hunting season, I’d change the food choices I made. I tried really hard to get myself back on track back when I posted “What are you waiting for?“, but it’s really not so easy to get back on track when you’ve got your old friends “Denial and Justification” rearing their ugly heads again. While I really really want some {chocolate, fried pickles, whopper with cheese, a bun, and fries by George} I really would rather just slip into my size eights and get into some general goofiness.

So here I am, six days into the new year, two days into getting my head back where it needs to be. The freezer is stocked with this year’s harvest and not a bite of chocolate to be found in the house.

And about those glowing eyes… Turned out to be a bit of trash someone had tossed, picked up the moonlight each time the wind blew.

 

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