Monday, September 29, 2008

First Hunt 2008

Keeping Watch, originally uploaded by Snakelover61.

Well, the much anticipated first hunt of the season is behind me now. I was there for opening morning bright and early. Actually... before bright, which is even earlier! I tried to keep my flashlight turned off as much as possible on the way to the stand. The stars were magnificent! And I saw a falling star, always a blessing from my Creator.

I saw a lot of deer, but the above picture is not one of them. This picture was taken last year and I simply chose it as representational to add interest to this blog. I didn't take my DSLR to the stand this trip, although I did get a lot of video. The feeder area was full of activity. Several small bucks, does and fawns visited frequently. Covies of quail, a couple of roadrunners, several crows, a woodpecker, a nuthatch and lots of dove helped fill in the gaps. There was aways something to see! Although I never drew my bow, it was an extremely enjoyable hunt.

I stayed in the stand longer than I might have normally, simply because I didn't have anyplace else I needed to be. It must have been 11am by the time I made my way back to camp. I shared camp this weekend with Jim, one of the other hunters. Jim does not bowhunt; he was there only to fill feeders and do his preparatory chores for the general season, which starts the first Saturday of November. Back at camp, I tried to heat up a TV dinner in the microwave, but the microwave picked this time to stop working. I suppose there's never a good time for something to break. So instead of eating my lunch, I made the 50 minute drive to the Sweetwater Walmart Supercenter to buy a new microwave, along with some other odds and ends that were needed.

I won't bore you with the details and I don't mean to complain, but several things seemed to go wrong this weekend. My allergies were acting up, but managable. You already know about the microwave that went out. The new one had a dent in it when I opened it and it smokes a little when I use it. I chose to keep it for now, mostly because of the two hour round trip that would be required to exchange it. Plus I was just tired and not in the mood for anymore "fixes." Someone had apparently deleted all the pictures off the memory card of one of my trail cams. One of my feeders wasn't working properly due to a bad battery. The door on one of my blinds wouldn't stay closed. My other blind had been badly damaged by a wind storm or animals. (Haven't decided which; perhaps both.) There were other things too, but for the life of me, I can't remember all of them right now.

Perhaps that's for the best. I don't like to dwell on the negative. I bowhunt for fun. And, although there is often work involved in fun, one must always remember that the whole purpose is enjoyment. Well, somewhere along the way, and I can't put my finger on exactly when, this all ceased to be fun for me. It was as if God was saying to me, "David, you're trying too hard." Or it could have just been my memories of Baloo from the Jungle Book, which my kids loved to watch when they were little. Either way, I decided to stop trying so hard and get back to those Bare Necessities of life. Or was that "Bear Necessities?"

I realized that I had a lot of work to do. Putting all that work off until after my hunt the next morning "felt" rather daunting and I began thinking of the next 24 hours with more dread than anticipation. So, at that point, I changed my plans and my whole outlook and attitude. I made the decision not to hunt that evening or the following morning. But instead to go about joyfully "fixing" the things that needed to be fixed and doing those things that would make my next trip more enjoyable. I filled the feeders with corn, filled my trailer's tank with water, replaced the battery on my feeder, put fresh batteries and empty SD cards in both trail cams, repaired my pop-up blind the best I could and installed a screen door hook on my other blind to keep the door from opening. I gathered up my blind chairs, video camera tripods, put away my bow, arrows and release. I salvaged what was left of my weekend and I turned what was slowly becoming a bad attitude into one of joy.

As a result of the change in plans, I enjoyed the added bonus of getting to spend more time with my sweetheart. I helped her with some work around the house. This too was a labor of love and a source of joy. Work can be fun when you have the right attitude. But remember the words of Baloo, "If you act like that bee acts... uh uh, you're workin' too hard!"


Primitiques 'n Poetry said...

Not the weekend you were expecting, but I am so glad you chose joy! Take note: I think the smoking microwave is going to radiate your innards. ~Mindy

Cher said...

I enjoyed this blog entry, but not as much as the deer did. I bet they were thrilled you left early!

I'm impressed you're a bow hunter. That's hard work.

The Texas Woman

Cher said...

David, I stopped and talked to the young (probably early 20s) man who makes the egrets. Yes,they are egrets! You win on that one.

Anyway, he only has one leg and walks very nicely with a prothesis. He rescued a small parrot from certain winter death and now takes it with him wherever he goes. No jokes here about Pegleg Pete and his parrot, and, yes, this is a true story! I have a witness!

The kid and his dad have a lot of acreage (don't know where) and the bird is allowed to fly freely around outside and always returns to his cage. I thought it all neat enough to retell since you asked.

But I guess not neat enough to buy an egret since I didn't.

The Texas Woman