Monday, November 5, 2012

Virtue is nothing more than insufficient temptation...

 I have a hard and fast rule that I don't hunt local deer. In the five years we've lived here I've had some pretty nice bucks skulking around the place about this time of year, and I haven't drawn a bow on any of them.

It's not that it's illegal or anything. I could set up a stand or a blind in my back yard and proceed to happily and completely legally arrow as many deer as the law will allow. I don't feed them, even though it's perfectly legal to hunt over a feeder. I don't try to tame them or make them pets. These deer are completely wild and free-ranging. The bucks are, anyway. They only show up in the fall, and are gone as soon as they spot you.  The does, however, are lazy-ass loafers whom I practically have to kick out of the yard. Bitches.

The point is, there's really nothing ethically or legally wrong with hunting close (OK, very close, like back yard close) to home. Lots of people do it. Hell, my dad once shot a buck while sitting in his dining room (so maybe that's a little extreme but there were extenuating circumstances: He had just had back surgery, couldn't walk, and he needed the meat. My father is nothing if not practical. Once he healed up, however, it was right back to the woods for him and he hasn't shot a home-based buck since.).

I'm the same way. I just feel like a deer should be earned with some effort and shoe leather, something a bit more involved, a bit more rigorous, than opening the patio door, walking a hundred or so yards and sitting down.

But holy shit, this guy is tempting me. He showed up a couple days ago, following a doe. He's nice. Very nice...

I've never seen him before, and so far, I've only seen him the one time during the last weekend of black powder season. He hasn't been back to tempt me since. For all I know he's hanging in someone's garage right now and the point is moot.

And even though I told myself I wasn't going to bow hunt this year, that I was going to concentrate on the dogs and spend every spare moment bird hunting, I've been flinging a few arrows at the target the past couple days, you know, just to keep in practice. No reason, no reason at all, just a Kyudo thing, really, a meditative device, like yoga or tai chi. Honest...

With apologies to the ghost of George Bernard Shaw for butchering his quote...


  1. The ol' buck-at-the-back-door conundrum!

    Sometimes I forgive myself and I take an easy one. I figure I generally work hard for a bit of meat or a trophy, so sometimes, I can take an easy one.

    I hunt pigs on a 40,000 acre block 600 miles from home. It can be hard to find a good hog at times. So the lady of the house says "Dagga there's a big boar coming in to wallow by the house at tea time. We haven't bothered him, thought you might want to take him home."

    Nothing comes that easy. Nonetheless at tea time I had the .308 on hand. As my wife and I sat down to a plate of lamb chops, I kept an eye on the window over her shoulder - just the occasional casual glance at the wallow under the Coolabah. Okay, I was very distracted.

    At last light the big black and white spotted boar plonked himself in the mud.

    "Back in a sec love" I grinned.

    I scooted out the door, walked 10 yards to the fence post (there happened to be a little sandbag on it). At 120 yards the pig kicked and flopped then lay still. Big boar, great ivory.

    Back inside I sat opposite my wife. She rolled her eyes and shook her head, trying to hide a smile. "Did you miss?"

    "Nope, got him. Gotta' finish dinner with the wife first... and I'll need your help to load him into the Toyota, he's pretty big!" Smiles.

    You're probably due an easy one Chad.

  2. I know what you mean dude, some very thrilling hunting over bait is the order of the day in the suburbs.
    The shooting lane is only 15 inches wide and 25 feet long, the birds and squirrels have to come to the bait, its torture really.
    Lots of easy shots have to be turned down as the pellet mustn't leave the property. The tension can be truly nail biting.
    Six inches to the left - world of trouble, six inches to the right - pigeon breasts on toast. Effing squirrels are wise to the game and routinely sit themselves down in the 'world of trouble' position