Can’t Sit Still

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Fast forward two years into archery season again, Brian brings me out with him up onto his grampa’s land. We had been there a couple times before but had just never seen anything worthwhile. The ladder stand rested on a tree on the corner of a field with the back side engulfed by the start of the woods. The sun was shining perfectly over the field, turning it gold, and rays were streaming through the canopy of the trees into the woods.

About two hours in, Brian spotted a few deer moving their way onto the field with his binoculars. Two were nice bucks keeping to the border between the field and the woods but slowly creeping their way closer to the stand.  Brian grabbed his bow to have it ready as they neared about sixty yards away. The anticipation of hopefully seeing some action and Brian get a nice buck was started to overcome me, but no sooner did that feeling start I heard a rustling noise behind me, and a lot of it.  I turned my head painstakingly slow, worried that I’d spook whatever just neared the tree.  Ten yards away was a doe and her (almost full-grown) fawn. She didn’t see me per say, but she knew something was up.

Brian craned his head around the tree to look too and was immediately dreading the outcome of it all.  Doe are smart, a lot smarter than bucks.  He was worried she’d spook the buck in the field before he even got a chance to shoot.

And that’s exactly what happened.  It took about fifteen minutes for her to eventually spot us, and it probably was my fault.  I was so anxious about what would happen; I didn’t want to look away from her and risk her seeing the movement of my head, but I didn’t want to miss Brian shooting that buck.  Every time she’d look down to eat I’d tear my head around to look in the field.  When nothing was happening out there, the bucks still sixty yards away, I’d slowly turn my head back to the doe and her baby.

Maybe it was me.  Maybe it was something in the field.  But all at once the does in the field took off towards the opposite direction, the doe and her baby by our tree jolted into the woods and the bucks took one swift leap into the brush as well, leaving us with nothing to watch or hope for during the rest of the night.  When it was dark and we were walking back, a frustrated Brian said, “I was ready to poke you with the broad head if you kept moving around.  C’mon Andi, you know you have to be dead still when deer are that close!”

I felt bad, but I really couldn’t help it.  I explained to him that I was getting antsy and the anticipation was killing me. I didn’t want to miss anything exciting.  He just laughed and told me to keep walking, knowing he was the one that got me into hunting, so he’d just have to patiently teach me how to remain calm in stirring situations like that.

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I started to get better at the whole “sitting still” thing.  But when it wasn’t so important I sure did get jumpy again.  During spring turkey season 2012, Brian had taken me out to roost turkeys up on his grampa’s land.  He’s calling and calling, sounding like a female turkey trying to get a gobbler to, well, gobble.  We’re walking up the hill, he’s calling away, and all of a sudden we hear one gobble right back at us.  I squeal and grab his arm, smiling ear to ear.

He just looks at me shaking his head and sits me down on a log next to him.  “Hunny, that turkey is probably a mile or two miles away. Their voices travel a long ways, we’re going to have to walk to see how close we get.”  I didn’t care about the walk, I just wanted to hear it gobble again.  Out of no where, a closer one gobbled that was probably only three hundred yards away. Again, I grip Brian’s arm and start laughing.  I couldn’t contain my excitement.  I think he eventually gave up on calming me down since there wasn’t any need to worry about me spooking the turkeys.

We walked up on them within one hundred yards of where they were roosting.  I had to work the next day so couldn’t go with him in the morning to hunt them, but he did end up getting one.  It was probably for the best though, I most likely wouldn’t have been able to sit that still for a turkey.  They have insane eye-sight and can see the slightest movement, even one as little as moving your finger to pull a trigger.  Roosting them was more than enough excitement for me and as much as Brian loves to take me out with him, he was probably relieved that I wasn’t able to go out; that way he was successfully able to harvest one without worrying about me getting too antsy.

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