The Hunting Trip
Two or three years ago in the early fall, a group of us went bow hunting for deer on the backside of Brown Mountain near Republic, Washington. There was my youngest son, Phinehas, who at the age of 16 was already a strapping 6’ 2’’, myself, and Andy Hunt, one of the 5 boy’s of a local logger named Stan Hunt. Most of the Hunt boy’s ran over 6’ 4”.
Phin and I went to pick up Andy early Friday at around 6 A.M. as had been prearranged, but Andy, as had been expected, wasn’t ready. He was buried in a pile of covers on the couch near the television, with the game boy remote laying near by, which meant he had probably been playing video games until around 3 in the morning as was his habit.
Around an hour later we had Andy roused and outfitted and we were headed down the 9 mile mainline towards camp, with Phin commenting to Andy that he, “had been on these roads since he was little”. We made it to the backside of Brown and set up camp for the night.
About a half hour before daybreak we shook ourselves awake and ate what ever was convenient. We sprayed on all the sprays associated with bow hunting, descenters, cover scents and what have you. I muttered “let’s cover some ground”, Phin threw a side long glance at Andy, which signified, “we’re in for it now”, and we caroused off down the trail. We literally” hunted high and low”, climbing to the tops of all the local peaks, and then searching down in lower draws and feeder creeks. We broke through brush, slipped up talus slopes and spent hours glassing ridges and open hill sides. Slowly the suspicion that we weren’t going to see any deer began to sink in and our expectation level sank. After 8 or more hours of this strenuous regimen, I decided to call it and head back to our camp.
As we walked up one last draw in the fading light, I looked up from my tripping feet and suddenly croaked, “deer!’ With Andy and Phin in the lead we had stumbled into a small herd of feeding deer, all within easy bow range and unalarmed. “Knock an arrow” I commanded, and all dutifully complied as we hit our knees. If I was writing for a professional hunting magazine I would tell you that one of us bagged a good buck, topping off the perfect hunting day.
But in reality, despite the fact that there was a nice buck feeding in that shady draw, and in easy range, we all failed to pull our act together and take the appropriate action necessary to make a kill. And we went home with no more venison than we had started with.