Sunday, January 13, 2013

a try at hunting

Deer season is over, but I still wanted to try hunting.  My cousin, the great sport he is, arranged for me to join him hunting for squirrel, rabbit, or fox.

I left the house while it was still complete darkness at 6:00am.  Upon arrival at my cousin's at 7, it was lighter but very foggy.  He had all his gear packed in his car, and we took a quick 15 minute drive to the woods where he normally goes hunting.  He gave me a camouflage hat, gloves and fleece, and I was wearing jeans and winter boots.  I was told if we were hunting deer - I would be glowing wearing the jeans since they see in the violet end of the spectrum...but thank goodness I have no idea what squirrel sees...and since I walk past so many everyday, I can't imagine my jeans bothered them.

It was a slow and quiet morning.  There was very little movement in the woods.  I was given a brief lesson on the rifle, loading it, and looking through the viewfinder thing.  I also had a quick lesson on tracking, the different kinds of poop we saw, and different noises.

I was excited. I was ready.  We finally saw a squirrel.  I pick up my rifle and looked through the view thing...and lost the squirrel.  Cousin found it a little later, it went up a tree.  He told me to shoot at it, but I was nervous to shoot up into the air, if I missed, by bullet would have went a mile...and who knew where that mile would be...the road? a back yard? so I didn't want to risk it.  Cousin, with a lot more experience and a different kind of gun, got into place, aimed, and the squirrel fell out of the tree.  I was so happy I was jumping up and down and high-fived cousin!

We waited a few minutes before we went over to collect it, to give it a moment to die in peace.

Cousin let me hold the squirrel at times during the rest of our morning.  We were hoping to catch about 10 or so...but as I said, it was a very quiet morning.  I see more squirrels walking to my car in the driveway each morning than I did in the woods.  We saw all of three squirrels, and the others were too far away to shoot.

At the end of the adventure, I was happy I didn't kill anything, because I watched my cousin skin and gut the squirrel.  I had a bit of an anatomy lesson and gained a new respect for hunters.  It has been about 15 years since I dissected anything...and this was a good reminder.

I had a really good time, and I told cousin I would definitely go with him again if he ever wanted company...even if it is just to watch, because next time, if I make a kill...I have to gut it :(

On our way out of the woods, we saw a bald eagle.  all in all, a great experience.

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