The young hunters age 14-16 certainly received a rude introduction to deer hunting last Saturday. No sooner had they entered the early morning woods and fields when the rains came, and kept coming all day long. Even veteran deer huntersí resolves were severely tested by the monsoonal all-day downpours. For the long anticipated opening day, it was generally a washout.
As I tried to stay relatively dry Saturday, in spite of my quality raingear, the words of the late outdoor writing icon, Jack OíConner, came to mind. He wrote: ďA little suffering goes into every hunt, and sometimes a lot of suffering.Ē Mind you, he was referring to the hunter and not the wild game he seeks. Saturday was a lot of suffering Ė unless you were snug inside a waterproof blind or such. Even with raingear on, I eventually got rather soggy by afternoon.
Things didnít start out all that badly. As my hunting companion Jim and I headed out at first light, it wasnít raining yet, and we immediately spotted a small buck, about a six-pointer, in the field at about 130 yards. By the time we decided, in view of the forecasted weather, to take him (we usually practice quality deer management, passing up yearling bucks like this one) the deer had trotted over the hill and disappeared into the nearby woods. Oh well, a good omen, we thought.