Like most Oklahoman's, I love the outdoors! October is a very exciting month here in the Sooner State; it's bow season. I have been bowhunting since I was 12-years-old. I transitioned to gun only, in my late teens and really got back into archery about 5 years ago. Since then, I have yet to score despite countless mornings and evenings sitting in a tree. Thinking back, it is crazy how many hours I have spent sitting there anxiously waiting only to come up empty handed.
Truthfully though, I wouldn't trade a single one of those hunts for anything else. For me, hunting isn't about a big mount hanging over the fireplace. Not that I would know anything about that anyway ;). It's about time with my family and time to get away from the fast paced city life. Time to get some red dirt on my shoes, or cover myself with dirt scented spray :), and just enjoy nature. Nothing compares to watching all of those spectacular Oklahoma sunrises and sunsets. Sometimes I sit there and feel sorry for others who don't get the opportunity to see some of them. They can be simply breathtaking. Even on the hunts where I don't see a single deer, I might see a couple gray squirrels hashing it out, a blue jay perching on the limb right above my head, a coyote on the prowl, an armadillo rooting in the leaves (which always sounds like a monster buck coming), or maybe a red fox prancing through. There are times when not a single living creature comes by my stand, on those days, I get to stop and think for a while. Something that is hard to find time to do in my busy life.
This past weekend I was able to use a little vacation time and head to the woods for 4 days. The first two I spent with my younger sister, Abbey, and older brother, Casey. My husband made it down for the weekend hunts. I always cherish time we all get to spend together. Even though we left the woods empty handed, we had really great time. We ate some great deer camp food, got in some practice shooting, put up a new stand, cleared shooting lanes for rifle, and all of us ended up seeing at least one buck.
If you are a bowhunter, you know how EVERYTHING has to align perfectly in order to be successful. Here are a few things that were not in my favor this time:
• The wind was horrendous. Even caused an awful dust storm in north central OK http://www.news9.com/story/19857983/dust-storm-shuts-down-interstate-in-northern-okla
• Temps were on the warm side for hunting standards
• Vegetation is very dry, so I sounded like a herd of elephants walking to my stand
• My neck warmer prevented me from anchoring my shot properly behind my ear
• Bucks are still running together, so if one of them didn't see or smell me, the other one did
• New hunting boots left enormous blisters
Good news is that every one of these things will get better with time! Although the wind will always blow here in Oklahoma, the temps will continue to cool off. In fact next weekend (opening weekend of muzzleloader season) temps will be in the 30s in the mornings. We have the potential for rain Thursday and Friday, and the rut will get going in the next few weeks, splitting the bucks up. I have learned my lesson to remove all head garb as soon as I see a deer, and my boots are well on their way to being broken in. Good luck to all the hunters out there, and if you can, take your wife, kids, or friends to the woods with you. Everyone deserves to spend some time in the Oklahoma outdoors!