Seems like there have been quite a few of them so far this year. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some opportunities and some good ones at that. I feel like sometimes my expectations are much greater than my abilities. Guess that’s just part of who I am. Here are a few things I do to pass the time.
Take in the Beauty of Fall
It’s early November and I’m up a tree overlooking a majestic hardwood hillside in southern Ohio. Temperatures are in the mid 60’s right now and it’s overcast with a cool breeze blowing from the southwest. The corn harvest is going on here right now mainly because it’s been too wet to cut for the last few weeks so the sound of combines fade in and out as the evening progresses. I periodically scan left, then right through the open timber for any movement. As I gaze through the timber I can’t help but notice the beauty of the changing leaves. Every shade of red, yellow, orange and green you can think of are right in front of me to behold. Oak, Maple and Hickory of all sizes Make up one of the most beautiful stands of timber I’ve ever seen. It’s so easy to get focused on the proposition of arrowing a big whitetail that I sometimes forget how amazing this time of year is.
Read a Book
After a quick scan of the area for movement I may dive into a good book. The Bare Bow Deer Book by Dennis Dunn is one of my favorites. Not sure how many times I’ve read this book but every time I open it up I get lost in the stories of success and failure. For some reason I like the Mule Deer chapter the best. Another author I’ve come to enjoy is Rocky McElveen. Wild Men, Wild Alaska details his accounts as the young son of a missionary and how his fathers calling took him to Alaska as a child and paved his way as a hunting and fishing guide as an adult. Of course there is also a Fred Bears Field Notes which will reel you in for hours at a time. Each of these books and many others make me feel like that when I’m sitting in the stand with the sounds and smells of the outdoors it’s almost like I’m there in the hunt with the author. On those slow days, if I’m into a good book it really doesn’t matter if I see a deer or get a shot…through my imagination with the help of a book full of good hunting stories, I already have.
Enjoy a cup of Coffee
I know I know…..scent control. I’ve just about convinced myself that deer don’t notice the smell of coffee. On a slow day, especially when it’s cold, I really enjoy a hot cup of joe. There’s just something about ever so quietly slipping that thermos out of my backpack and pouring a small cup. Just the simple aroma immediately knocks the chill off. If you really want to enjoy a cup of coffee without any distractions, the treestand is the place to do it.
These few activities my seem simple and boring to some but I’m coming to appreciate my time in the field more and more. I think the reason is that I know someday all I’ll have are the memories of the hunt which is leading me to slow down and take in every experience and enjoy the blessing of the outdoors.