I feel like I need to give an explanation of my history with hunting. I was very confused when I first heard the argument that “hunting is not a sport because the human has an unfair advantage.” By my calculations I have a very significant disadvantage when I hunt.
My dad hunted all throughout my childhood, but only when there was more grocery money to be saved by buying a deer tag than by working the number of hours that would be spent hunting. I was never extremely excited by hunting, it was just a thing that you did to get food. This is why I was halfway through high school before I took hunters education and got a deer tag. Unfortunately, I realized that I had waited one year too long, and was no longer able to shoot a doe as a minor.
I spent the next few Novembers carrying a gun through the woods searching for a buck, that was my hunting for four years. During this time I saw a single buck, which bounded, at full sprint, from thick brush on the right hand side of a gravel road, touched its front, then it’s back feet in the middle of the road, and disappeared into the thick brush on the left hand side of the road. By the time we had skidded to a stop in my dads truck the buck was across a partially-frozen swamp and halfway up a mountainside, still running. I’ve often wondered what could have spooked that deer so much.
With such bad luck at finding something that was even legal to shoot at, I eventually gave up on buying a hunting license. It isn’t worth $50 in licenses and tags, $50 in gas, and countless hours of unproductivity to sit in the cold hopelessly.
For three years I didn’t buy a license, until last year I decided to give it a try again and hunt with my wife. We have since mutually realized that we should never hunt together. I’m like “Dear, let’s find a tree and sit under it until a deer walks by.” She’s like “I saw a flash of white half a mile away and moving fast, maybe it’s a buck. Grab your gun! Run after it!”
So why did I decide to start hunting again? Because last year for the first week of hunting season shooting white-tail does was legal. However I hadn’t heard of this before the season started last year, and therefore hadn’t put any time aside to hunt.
But this year, 2017, I was ready. I set out, gun in hand, hunting skills as rusty as a mines whistle, to finally shoot a deer. Or not, I mean, old habits die hard.