Bow Hunting Adventures

| 10/7/2009 2:48:54 PM

A photo of Lori Dunn with pet squirrelsI was quite excited for hunting season this year! The Pennsylvania Game Commission changed the rules for archery hunting to allow the use of crossbows, so for the first time, I purchased an archery stamp. I have never been interested in hunting with a compound bow as I didn’t feel I could make a good accurate and clean kill shot. That has changed with the use of a crossbow. Now I can be very accurate and feel comfortable shooting out to 40 yards. Let me just say that I’m not putting down hunting with a compound bow, so if you hunt with one, don’t get your dander up! There are lots of people who are extremely accurate and deadly with a compound bow! I’m just not one of them!

This change has been wonderful for me. I can now hunt earlier in the season without freezing my tail off! This is a huge issue for me because I can’t take cold weather very well. I’m also excited about being able to hunt the rut! I’ve only been out hunting two days (archery started here on October 3rd), and already I’ve had some great and wild experiences! The first day was pretty uneventful as far as seeing deer goes, but still a joy to sit out in beautiful weather with the leaves changing, watching the sunrise, and listening to all of the songbirds wake up and the squirrels leave their nests to start looking for acorns! The second day was quite a different story!

Sunrise from the deer stand

My stand sits with my back facing the woods and my front and both sides watching a field. Deer come out naturally to feed. I was in my stand before sunrise, listening to the day come alive, and watching the sun come up as it glittered like little jewels off of the dew drops covering the field! I got to see a flock of turkeys working their way through the field, looking for bugs, grasshoppers, and other hidden delights! I waited and watched but … no deer! However, I did see something that I have never seen before.

Wild turkeys making their way across the field.

Toward mid-morning I heard a noise behind me, and slowly turned to see what was making the soft swishing noise in the leaves. There came a rabbit from straight behind me through the woods. It wasn’t running really, just steadily hopping forward. It got right behind me and then turned to my left and disappeared under a heap of brush. As soon as it was out of sight, I heard another noise in the leaves. This time it wasn’t a rabbit, but a mink that was following in the exact path the rabbit had just gone. It also disappeared under the brush. In just a few seconds, the rabbit came out from under the brush, went behind me and to my right, and entered another pile of brush. You guessed it, in just a few seconds the mink was following in the rabbit’s footsteps. It also entered the brush and then it stopped. At that point a chipmunk alarm started going off, followed by a squirrel alarm. I don’t know where they went from there, or if the rabbit got away, but it was so cool to watch something like this, that one would normally see on a nature program on TV. I got to see it in extreme high definition!

11/3/2012 2:03:23 PM

Just discovered your blog through GRIT today -love the article and yes great pictures -look forward to reading more of your blog

Nebraska Dave
10/8/2009 11:57:27 AM

Lori, you take some of the best pictures. I noticed Cindy calls upon your expertise quite often and I’ve seen your pictures in the Grit magazines many times. As for me I just attempt to take blog pictures with a cheap Kodak camera that seems to work pretty good. The digital age is a wonderful thing. The only fault with the digital camera is that I have a tendency to take way too many pictures and have an extremely hard time deleting any. Your description of the bear experience was terrific. And Cindy, yes the bear does scat in the woods. I don’t think I would have been quite as cool headed as you were, Lori. I can identify with your total hunting experience even though I don’t hunt. I could never really hit anything with a bow. Then I discovered that I was right handed but left eye dominate. It threw my whole bow shooting way off to the right. I just gave it up. I do fish and the experience of watching the wild life with enjoyment is similar. One can even get a little nap in while fishing. The warm sun and the sound of the water lapping the boat or shore line have a mystical soothing effect that has a tendency to lull me to a happy place. It’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Good Hunting.

Cindy Murphy
10/8/2009 7:21:55 AM

Ashten said: "Although I can appreciate your joy in the adventure, I would have been shaken to the core and there is NO way I could have climbed out of the stand." I'd be the same way. I don't hunt, but truly appreciate time spent in the woods and fields; dusk and early mornings surrounded by nature are some of my favorite times. But to have a bear so close that I could almost touch it?! I wonder if I'd drop dead of fright? Probably. Does a bear you-know-what in the woods.

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