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So I know this post is REALLY late, but I promised you guys an account of my hunting trips last fall with my cohort in crime, John Paul. So, here is the short version of what went on last November. I would've updated sooner, but I've been crazy busy with work, school, life, etc.

So there I was...

(John Paul says that all of my stories have to start out with "So there I was...")

So JP calls me up and says we should go down to Spooky Hollow to go deer hunting right before Thanksgiving. Sure, I thought. I'm an outdoorsman. I've hunted all kinds of birds and whatnot, I'll give deer slaying a shot. *ba-dum bum ching!*

Actually, deer hunting (with the exception of JP's interfering), was pretty easy. I sat in a tree stand for two days, then on the third day, a deer walks up and *BANG* plop. Deer meat in the freezer. Huh. It wasn't really that hard. I had a rifle that I was comfortable shooting out to 500 yards (not at a deer, probably 300 for an ethical shot, easy enough), but this deer was only 40 yards away. No contest.

The next day, however, I decided to take a hidden position behind a downed tree. It was a cold and windy day, and the moisture on the ground wasn't making things much better. But, I was able to completely conceal myself beneath the tree as well as covering myself in mud and leaves. The hunt was on!

I saw a GIANT buck appear about 120 yards away and I couldn't really get what I would consider a clean, ethical shot at him, so I watched as he majestically trotted away from my view. Oh well. It was really nice to be in nature.

Later that evening, after spending over 12 hours concealed in the dirt and having to pee in an old Gatorade bottle (I'm dedicated), I get this weird feeling. I try to calm myself because I know the deer can sense when you're actively pursuing them, so I hush my body to almost dead-still. I can still feel the eerie sensation of something being close by.

All of the sudden I hear... "Bloop-bloop." It was my radio. It was John Paul coming over loudly saying, "Do ya see anything yet?!"

At that moment, the buck that was 5 yards behind my head runs out in front of me and off into the distance, never to be seen again.

"Not anymore, pal." So ended that trip.

After Turkey Day JP says that he wants to hunt with his muzzleloader. I decided to go to BPS and get rigged up with a bow. The whole gun thing was just toooooo easy. So I head to the archery department and explain to the man that I have shot many recurve and longbows thanks to my martial arts school, but haven't fired a compound bow. He hands me a model and while I'm looking at it, jerks it out of my hands and says, "What the hell are you doing?!"

I really didn't know what I was doing wrong. I was just shooting the way I was instructed. The way generations of proud Japanese warriors have shot their bows for many years before me.

He then tells me that I simply cannot shoot a right-handed bow because I am left-eye dominant. Apparently, my head was in far too awkward a position for him to sell me a bow. Whatever. (I come to find out later that they sell sights specifically for the cross-dominant population, such as myself. That butthead.)

So I purchase a LEFT HANDED bow. It has all the bells and whistles with tritium sights, a whisker biscuit, string silencers, past-parallel limbs, everything.

I then proceed to spend the next excruciating weeks learning to shoot left-handed until I can comfortably and repeatedly shoot sub 3-inch groups at 40 yards. No joke. I also made sure that I was hooked up with the latest in ultra-sharp, reverse-cam action, mechanical broadheads. These things look like they could take a cape buffalo. They are intense!

So JP and I head back down to Spooky Hollow, but this time I am in a different stand because of my new weaponry. I can hear deer all around me, but with the noticable absence of foliage on the tree that my stand is setup in, I decide it is better to hunt this buck on foot.

Before I left, my uncle gave me specific instructions on how to "move like a tree." Waiting for the wind to blow and however much the wind blows the leaves, that is how far you get to move 1 limb. It took me almost 45 minutes to move only 30 yards. After almost two hours of tracking this way, there he was.

He was gorgeous. Elegant. Graceful. The picture of Mother Nature's perfection. I mean, this was the biggest danged deer I had ever been this close to. It was amazing.

I began the slow, steady rise of my bow into position. I felt my fingers wanting to tense up in anticipation of the shot, but I fought them hard. Despite the fact that I had washed all my clothes in scent-free detergent, covered myself in scent-away spray, and even chewed gun that supposedly was making my mouth scentless, I knew he could smell the sweat that was now pouring down my brow beneath my balaclava (which, incidentally was also scent-free).

I feel my shoulder blades start to flex as I begin drawing my bow when all of the sudden...

*Bloop bloop!* Oh no. It's my radio. And..... there goes my buck trotting merrily away.

"Did you kill anything?!"

"No, JP, but you might be on the endangered species list."


"Nevermind. I was about to kill a buck, but the radio just scared him away."

"Oh. Well Robin and I are back in the cabin. You want some food?"

"Sure. Why not. It's not like I'm having this deer for dinner."

So there it was. Two times in two weeks JP used my own radio against me. Rats! My lesson is that from now on, until something is dead, I don't turn my radio on. Ever.

I was talking with JP over dinner that night and he said, "Dude, you see all kinds of deer. You've seen what? 11?"

"15." I corrected him.

"Right. So you've seen 15, and I have seen 3. How do you get SO close to these deer?"

"Well JP, I just stay really quiet and don't move. Like, I don't even move my eyes quickly because they can see the whites flash. 14 hours. No movement."

"I just don't get it." He says.

I come to find out that JP had a shot at a buck at less than 60 yards during modern gun season with his HK G3 rifle. His missed. But wait! It gets better. The deer looked up, moved 5 steps CLOSER and JP shoots again. And missed. Again! hahahaha! I thought it was the neighbors on the practice rifle range. Turns out, JP is just a horrible shot! hahaha! He tried to come up with some lame-ass excuse about "trees" being in the way. They weren't trees, they were twigs, at best. With that G3 battle rifle, that deer should've been a stain on the ground. I couldn't believe it. It was hillarious.

Even though I had my cover blown twice, I still filled the freezer full of meat and came home with some stories that I will never forget. I can't wait to go back this year, without my radio.

I've included some pics here, one is from my treestand on day 1 and the other is just a pic of the lake at Spooky where I got to spend most of November. If there is any doubt why they call it Spooky Hollow, just fish that lake for catfish at like 1 o'clock in the morning when everything is dark, and the coyotes are howling. It was like a horror movie. The sky was REALLY bright because the moon was really close and reflecting a lot of light. But still, after I heard the pack of coyotes, I was like, "Screw this, man. I'm outta here!" and jetted back to the cabin. I also included a photo of the deer that were just standing outside waiting for us the day we got there. It wasn't uncommon to see up to 40 deer standing in the main entrance. This, of course, was safe for the deer because we weren't allowed to hunt too close to Aunt Sally's cabin. What a bunch of garbage! hahaha


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