Day 5 Continued
New does were coming in just behind our location. We were completely out of position, but it looked to me that we could, with certain stealthy maneuvers, move into a shooting lane.
I was standing when I noticed they were in-bound, and we were busted right off the bat. We dropped fairly quickly, and tried to slip into what we thought was a continuation of the high bushes we were originally hunkered down in. As it turns out, we entered an even larger grassy area with little cover at all. I ranged the larger deer at 105 yards, and the other at 100. There was no way we were going to get a shot off at that distance with my bow let alone Cheri's.
The larger deer seemed to ignore us, but the smaller one watched every single move we made, and I am pretty sure she blew her nose at us at one point. Before we even got 2 steps off, the little one bolted off and took the larger one with her. I laughed and stood upright again to watch them as long as I could as they bounced away.
Cheri was quick to return to her error in missing the record button, but I wouldn't let it continue. We got to witness up close things that most people will never see in a lifetime. We got to spend time doing literally nothing except waiting on deer. We didn't care about the economy, we weren't concerning ourselves with layoffs or kids issues. We got to watch the colors of the aspen trees change literally in front of our eyes.
Cheri got to do something few women on the planet have had the chance at. She was able to draw her bow and take a shot at a mule deer. Some will argue that she missed an easy shot, and I will challenge that statement by asking them to remember what was riding on that shot. Aside from the stress she put on herself to let go of the ghosts of Texas, apart from the pressure she felt to make it count because I was there, she needed to do this to finally rid herself of her history of abuse and oppression.
She needed to prove to herself that she could spot the deer. She did this even before I could. She needed to confirm that she was capable of maintaining herself in a pressure situation, and not cave. She confirmed it. I couldn't be more proud.
All in all it was a fun time spent with family and each other learning about a sport and heritage that sadly, all too many people just don't understand anymore. No we didn't fill the cooler as we had hoped, but we got close. We learned the value of exploration, strategy, and most of all patience. These deer don't come to you. They jump at the slightest thing out of order. They are as curious as they are cautious. So long as I didn't leave the van, that doe I played chess with was content to play too. It was fun to see the young ones get the equivalent of a butt-chewing from gramma on the last day.
Every night when we returned to Kris and Craig's house, their sons David and Patrick would ask if we "caught" anything. Suddenly I became Uncle Rick. Having never heard that, I was caught off guard at first, but I soon came to cherish the sound. I can't tell you who was more let down by our misses: Cheri or Craig. He really wanted us to get one down. He even called us on our way home to say next time he wanted us to get with him before we picked our areas and he would act as our guide. He's a good brother.
I am sorry that once again, our hunting adventure didn't net a score... but as I hope I have imparted here, we got a bunch more than that. God help them next year. And hey... small game opened up yesterday... Rabbit anyone?