Now I've been Dove hunting with John before but it went a little something like this...
John: Ok here hold this shot gun and if you see any birds then shoot them.
Brooke: Ok got it!
(ENTER mass flock of dove)
John: Give me that gun!! (Bang, Bang, Bang,etc...)
(EXIT mass flock of dove)
John: Ok here you can have the gun back!
Brooke: Oh wow really?! I hope I can hit that one lonely dove that can't keep up with the rest since I've never even shot a gun before! You're the Best!
So since then I've never really had a desire to go hunting. But lately I've been wanting to go hunting with John. Maybe because I want to play a role in that part of his life or maybe because we actually have somewhere to go with an awesome deer blind that John built. What ever the reason, all I know is that one day I woke up with a strange desire to go hunting. I know that it seems completely out of character for me but it makes complete sense to me...I love John and John is a hunter and when we got married I became a Hunter's Wife.
So let's talk about how I went on my first Deer Hunt this weekend. First of all...I had a blast!!! Never in a million years would I thought those words would come out of my mouth but they did! I had so much fun hunting! I had even more fun watching John hunt and how the second we exited the truck his "Stealth Mode" kicked in! Me on the other hand exited the truck like any other time with a good slam of the door only to receive the "look." John's never given me a "look" before...so I learned my lesson quick! (Lesson #1: Once John's in "Stealth Mode"...don't make eye contact and obey all commands!) But here's a play-by-play of how our hunting trip went...
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31:
2:30 a.m. Wake up and get dressed quickly (keyword 'quickly' because "every minute counts and we have to be there several hours before the deer wake up"- 'quickly' is nowhere near 3:30a.m. in my dictionary)
3:00 a.m. Start 20 minute drive to hunt site (while Brooke takes a nap)
3:20 a.m. Unload truck quietly (minus the door slam by Brooke)
3:22 a.m. Start 1/2 mile hike in pitch darkness (since flashlights are also prohibited by StealthMaster3000 a.k.a. John) on unfamiliar terrain to deer blind while carrying my gun, extra pair of jeans and a sweatshirt (in case my coveralls are too hot), a blanket (in case my coveralls are not warm enough) and a backpack with snacks. At this point the possibility of getting attacked by a wild hog = very likely!
3:35 a.m. Reach deer blind without any attacks from a wild hog only to discover that I have to pee (even though I was warned many times by John that I would not be allowed to) Oops... Thankfully I was saved by John's bladder and since he had to go, I was allowed to as well!
3:40 a.m. Get inside deer blind and begin the waiting process. (only with a few naps for Brooke)
6:50 a.m. Sun begins to rise and I'm told this is "Prime Time" for deer to come out, especially a buck, and that I need to be extra quiet. (QUE extra loud noises from Brooke every time she moves) And several more "looks" from John are sent my way! But since it's still too dark for me to see anything I take another nap.
6:55 a.m. Wake up from nap to see deer...
7:00 a.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)
8:00 a.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)
9:00 a.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)
10:00 a.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)...this is getting awkward!
10:30 a.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)
11:00 a.m. After sitting several hours and realizing we will not be seeing any deer we decide to call it quits and go get some lunch. Start hike back to truck, which is much easier with light...(Brooke: "So this is what it looked like when I was walking this morning. Glad to know it was a flat terrain and not the edge of a cliff)
11:20 a.m. Grab lunch and go take nap to re-energize for the next hunt happening in T-minus 3 hours.
2:30 p.m. Wake up, get ready for evening hunt, and drain my body of any fluids the best I can.
3:00 p.m. Grab everything and start to head out of hotel room, then remember we need hotel key, catch door before it closes, look for key, can't find key so John grabs hotel key that doesn't work but I want to find right key.
3:05 p.m. Get yelled at for wasting 5 minutes of daylight looking for key
3:06 p.m. Still don't have right key but leave anyways
3:07 p.m. Start 20 minute drive to hunting site
3:27 p.m. Hike (in daylight...Yay!) to deer blind
3:40 p.m. Get situated in deer blind and ask John to rate me from 1-10 (10=highest) on my "Stealth Mode"
3:45 p.m. My "Stealth Mode" is a 5 so far...(Oh a 5, huh? We'll see about that!")
3:50 p.m. Start "Dehydration Mode" so I won't have to pee.
4:00 p.m. Take nap while John looks for deer
4:30 p.m. Wake up from nap...no deer...finish reading Hunger Games
6:00 p.m. Sun begins to set and "Prime Time" kicks in...must be really quiet...or else!
6:01 p.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)
7:00 p.m. (QUE deer...) (*cricket**cricket*)
7:30 p.m. (QUE RANDOM DUST STORM!!!!!)
7:35 p.m. Debate whether to stick out the Dust Storm or head back to the truck before it gets dark.
7:40 p.m. Hike back to truck with 50 mph gusts of wind
7:50 p.m. Drive truck back to deer blind to pick up stuff only to discover 3 Deer running across the field
7:51-8:15 p.m. CURSE DEER!!!!
8:15 p.m. End "Dehydration Mode" and chug several small Gatorade
8:30 p.m. Leave with no deer...
After the evening events I leave you with this song (and a video):
"Home, Home in the Blind,
Where the deer don't come out til you leave,
Where seldom is heard but the rustling of Brooke's purse,
And the sky is not cloudy all day, until "Prime Time" for deer to come out and a big dust cloud comes out of nowhere with 50 mph wind so you have to get out of the blind and hike back to the truck in the wind because your life depend on it!"
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2012:
12:00 a.m. HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Unfortunately we missed it because we were asleep!)
3:30 a.m. Alarm goes off...Push Snooze
3:40 a.m. Alarm goes off...Push Snooze
3:50 a.m. Alarm goes off...Push Snooze
4:00 a.m. Alarm goes off...Push Snooze
4:15 a.m. Alarm goes off...We get up finally!
4:30 a.m. Get ready much faster and head to hunting site
4:50 a.m. Try to convince John to drive to blind this time but doesn't happen
4:55 a.m. Unload truck and "quietly" shut truck door...success! No "look" :) so we start our hike through the dark to the blind. This time only it's about 32 degrees outside.
5:05 a.m. Reach deer blind and demand John to turn on heaters asap so I can thaw
5:06 a.m. Freaky banging on the outside of blind. Sounds like someone is pounding their fist against the blind.
5:06 a.m. Realize I am now about to pee my pants despite all earlier preparation.
5:06-5:10 a.m. Stand completely still and stare at each other like we are about to die.
5:10 a.m. John realizes that it's a board banging against the side and goes outside to fix it even though I beg him not to because I don't want to die alone.
5:15 a.m. Board fixed, No more reason to be scared, get settled and take a nap
5:30 a.m. John keeps poking me to wake me up
5:45 a.m. Stomach starts growling
6:00 a.m. Stomach still growling so ask John if I can eat some muffins, He says no because the package is too loud and it's almost "Prime Time"
6:15 a.m. Stomach still growling...
7:00 a.m. (QUE deer...)
7:15 a.m. Deer come out on Que this time! It's a miracle! Unfortunately they are only doe, but at this point I'll take any kind of deer.
7:15-10:00 a.m. My adrenaline starts going and now my eyes are in search of any type of movement. Spot lots of does but no bucks. Only see one deer that might be a buck but it's too far away!
10:00 a.m. Get out of blind and go find deer...Mission Unsuccessful! But we did get to walk around and look at the land which was fun! And I got to learn how to differentiate between a buck track and a doe track, just something to add to the "Random Knowledge" section of my brain.
10:30a.m. Make target for me to practice shooting my gun! Shoot gun three times and get pretty close. But it's not good enough so John takes over my gun and tries to "Sight it In" (I think he just really liked shooting my gun)
11:00 a.m. Take nap in truck while John refilled feeders, puts a solar panel on his feeder and sets up game camera
11:30 a.m. Head back to town empty handed. :(
Despite the disappointment, I will definitely be going again. That is if John will let me. Here are his rating for me as a hunting companion:
Brooke's Hunting Results: Out of 1 to 10 (10 highest) -
Final Stealth Mode Score = 7.5 (Most Improved in this area)
Hunting Companion Score = 9 (I think he felt like he had to give me a high score but 10 would have definitely been a lie, but I'll take it! He also said I was good at spotting deer!)
Take Me Hunting Again Score = 12!!!! (Yay!)
Look-Out Score = FAIL! (Considering my numerous naps)
John's Hunting Results: Out of 1 to 10 (10 highest) -
Stealth Mode Score = 9 (He unfortunately was stuck sitting in a squeaky chair)
Hunting Companion Score = 10
Take Me Hunting Again Score = 12!!! (Wouldn't want to hunt with any other person!)
Look-Out Score = 12! (He was the best look-out he never once took a nap in the blind)
Protector Score = 100! (He risked his life when I thought we were going to die!)