Picture 1: In between morning and evening hunts. After the morning hunt, we go back to the truck, change back into casual clothes (rubber boots stay on to mask scent), and hike to each feeder to go collect the trail camera cards. Don’t want to take the ATV during season and make a bunch of noise, so we go on foot.
Picture 2: Dropping my bow down from the stand after the morning sit. Good perspective shot.
Picture 3: This little guy was hanging out on the Airstream while we were eating lunch. Gotta love nature’s camouflage… but it works better if you’re in a tree, buddy.
Picture 4: We spent some time cutting a trail from the “opposite” direction to one of our feeder stands. It makes hunting that spot much more appealing because we can get in from the other side and not disturb the area where the animals usually come from with our sounds and scents. In the process of cutting brush to make the trail, we saw a bunch of trees with markings on the bark. I’m sure this is just decay, signs of bugs in the bark, but I thought it looked really cool.
Picture 5: View out of the stand from which I shot my pig.
Picture 6: Pig found. Believe me, there is a strong mix of emotions when you walk up on an animal you shot. I use the “general you” because it is like this for almost all hunters. It’s both terrible and wonderful, a blend of relief and joy and heartbreak all at once. It’s life.
This was a very hard hunting trip for me overall. Saturday night involved a good couple of hours of crying almost nonstop in the little RV bed before I could finally get to sleep. Conversations with Steve, buckets of tears, and emotional catharsis, some having to do with the hunt, some not. I am not going to expand more on that.
But for the hunting part: suffice to say, in the future, I will not shoot at everything I see simply because I can. There are many factors that play into that choice that I did not take into consideration when I made my move. In the process, I made our work much tougher (logistics of location combined with timing), I eliminated the possibility of Steve taking home the biggest boar in that family group like he wanted to (since that group will now certainly disappear elsewhere), and I likely ruined the chances for deer success at two of our favorite feeder spots in the coming weeks. So yeah. Lessons learned. I won’t make that kind of mistake again.
On the bright side? I shot another animal dead on at 20 yards with my bow. If my first giant pig brought me a huge rush of confidence, this second one was the proverbial icing on that cake. I am sure I can shoot a deer now, when presented with the opportunity. I am anxious for that day to come.