Field to Freezer, a Hard Season Ends

Well, once again the year comes to an end and hunting season comes to a close. I had success, I had failure, and all in all it was a good productive season with plenty of new experiences.

Like getting all my gear plus a coffee into a tree stand without spilling

One of the main goals is always to stock up on meat for the new year, and in that regard I can’t complain. My wife and I tagged two young bucks, allowing us to fill a few shelves in the freezer with burger, sausages, pepperonis, and some steaks. I also made a few batches of jerky, which was a first for me and turned out extremely well.

Who could resist?

Of course I had hoped to also bag a couple of does, but that didn’t go so well. I had my chance early in bow season which I missed, and then I didn’t see another legal one the entire rest of the season. Such is hunting, you win some, you lose some, but the fun is in trying.

As soon as legal light was gone I saw plenty though!

One thing I’ve been reminded this year, hunting is hard. We (hunters) are not just taking a leisurely drive out to a field full of animals to pick one out and kill it. There is all sorts of challenges we face in successfully bringing that meat home, and even then, all kinds of work to process that meat when it does get home.

And gypsy is just no help at all

Indeed, hunting is not for the lazy. Hiking around all day through the bush, climbing over dead trees, across creeks, into tree stands, sneaking through a field in knee deep snow before the sun comes up, carrying a pack full of gear or dragging out your deer from the thickest clump of willows in the area, it all takes a physical toll on you. Hunting can be downright exhausting.

hunting is hard work

That’s why we have nap time

This year was no exception, and while I can’t say that it was my hardest year hunting (I didn’t get skunkedΒ after all) it was certainly up there in level of frustration compared to many previous years. I think I speak for Garry as well when I say that it seemed we put in a LOT of time with very little payoff.

We did stare at a whole lot of very scenic and very empty clearings

We started going out early in archery season and were pretty consistent in spending any days off work in pursuit of deer. We both took some time off work and sometimes went out every day for several days in a row, spending all morning, afternoon, and evening stalking trails and sitting in tree stands. We saw very few animals, whether in range or not, and that made for a lot of frustrating days especially as winter drew nearer and it became more and more uncomfortable to sit outside for any length of time.

Cold snowy rock, who wouldn’t want to sit here all day?

In the end though, whether the season is hard or not there is always the reward of just being out there, exploring new areas, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. I only got a few rides in with the new ATV so far but I am already very excited about all the new possibilities it opens up for me for next season. I got to spend a lot of quality time with various friends and family members, including taking my wife out for her first time, and I spent plenty of time getting to know a big momma black bear in my main hunting area, from a safe distance of course.

hunting is better as a group

Quality time

Next year will bring new challenges, some more failures, and hopefully some more success. Either way, I’ll be out there, putting in the time, and loving every minute of it.


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