Will B. Hunting
Hunting is a timehonored tradition in Olney and for most rural towns. Most of the hunters in the area learned how to hunt from instructions handed down from generation to generation. I have always wanted to learn how to hunt. I am 50 years old now, and because I come from a family that does not hunt, I never learned the skills required to hunt. So, when my brother-inlaw offered to teach me, I was excited.
The first step entailed acquiring the gear and tools needed for a successful hunt. I learned quickly how expensive hunting equipment could be, especially with a crossbow, which is what I wanted to learn to use. Some of the tools needed were, of course, a good crossbow, camouflage clothing with scent blocker, a kit to fielddress what I hunted, a good hunting knife— not too long and not tooshort; I completed specific research to find the proper hunting knife, bolts (arrows) and various heads for the bolts. I considered myself lucky when my father-in-law offered me a deer feeder he no longer used. These items are just some of the equipment needed.
My first hunt was more of trapping. My brotherin-law—whose name has been omitted because he doesn’t like to be in the limelight—had set up a hog trap with deer corn as the bait. There were approximately seven hogs in the trap. I let him know early on I did not want to kill anything I didn’t intend on eating. Therefore, we picked out three midsized hogs because someone told me that the larger hogs are not as good to eat as the smaller to midsize hogs. We agreed I would take two hogs for processing, and we would give one hog to the landowner as a tribute for letting us hunt on his land. I quickly dispatched all three hogs, and we let the rest go.
Hogs are a big nuisance for ranchers and farmers, but I was sticking to my code. Later we would contact a hog trapper to figure out the best course for thinning out these hogs. My brother-in-law showed me the proper way to field-dress the first hog. I won’t go into too much detail as it might be too graphic for some readers. I took my knife and went to work on the second hog being careful to follow strict instructions as not to taint the meat. Although it was a little gross at first, I made it through the process quickly. My 16 years of restaurant experience gave me a small advantage with knowing the cuts of meat.
After properly fielddressing the three hogs, I drove them to Seymour to have them processed by the Bayco Meat Company. They do an excellent job at a reasonable price. I ordered a third to be converted to breakfast sausage, a third to jalapeno cheese smoke sausage and a third to regular smoked sausage with the backstraps turned into pork chops. I have sampled all the meats, and they are delicious.
My first hunt was almost like going to the grocery store though. The real hunt started the week after. I woke up before the sun was even close to peaking over the horizon. I grabbed some coffee, gear and headed out to the blind on the side-by-side or mule as some call it. First, I sprayed scent-killer, and then I set up deer urine dispensers around my blind. The crisp cold breeze felt good with all the layers of camouflage I wore. Next, I climb into my blind, settled back into my chair and waited for the first rays of sunlight to peak over the hill, which took an hour or so. As I sat waiting, I cleared my mind and visualized the shotwhich reminded me of relaxing meditation. The sun started to creep over the horizon as another hour passed slowly. Finally, silently through the brush, a buck emerged. As my adrenaline pumped rapidly, I pulled my bow up and sighted the buck. To my disappointment, it was just under the required size to take it down. So, I watch as it ate its fill of deer corn before bolting off into the brush again.
As I packed up and headed back to the house, I realized that I found something new that I would love to do throughout the hunting season. Now, I look forward to each weekend until deer season is over. This is Will B. Hunting saying enjoy the hunt and welcome to the brotherhood of hunters.