Hunting

The Relentless Hunt and the Heat – Hernando Sun

Despite the incredible heat, I plan to take advantage of the open whitetail archery season in South Florida’s Zone A, as determined by our Florida Wildlife Commission. The season there opens on Saturday, July 30, and allows the harvest of white-tailed deer of either sex, buck or doe. Personally, I prefer bald ones; hinds offer better quality cooking because the meat is always tender.

As it is archery season, I will be carrying a bow and arrow, a takedown curve I recently acquired from Golddiggers and Gunslingers in Inverness. I shot it a bit and am very impressed with the small bow, but I need new arrows and broadheads. The only place you can get custom arrows for a traditional bow is here in Hernando County. Masaryktown actually at Three Rivers Outdoors and Archery for a traditional archer or bow hunter they have what you need.

Bow and arrow hunting is a short range sport. Even more so with traditional wooden bows. I know several traditional archers who are much more accurate than me at long distances, but my personal range for hunting is only fifteen meters. This is what one of my bowhunting mentors, Marion R James, calls “hunting the hard way”. MR as I’ve always known him should know relentless hunting, having started the sport in the late 1950’s and after touring the world bow in hand on several occasions was inducted into Bowhunting Hall of Notoriety.

The hard way though…. come within spitting distance of a wild deer and place an effective shot at that deer without ever being aware of your presence. The most important tool for this is patience. This cannot be emphasized enough. Even if I could walk fast and cover a lot of ground in the woods, I wouldn’t. There is no rush as deer do not wear watches or run on a set schedule. Maybe being a fat old man with a flabby leg is to my advantage, it forces me to move slowly and with determination.

The heat is going to be a huge factor in this hunt. Hydration is key for me. Along with a handful of other essential gear, I’ll be carrying at least two liters of water in my backpack. I will freeze the two liter bottles overnight and sip melted ice cream often. Each time I stop, I pick a spot in the shadows with an object taller than me to help blend in. I will move slowly like molasses as I take my sips and keep my eyes scanning the wind for any signs of movement. Sometimes during my breaks I can spot the twitch of an ear or the subtle turn of the head of a lying deer and from there I can plan my approach. Hunting the hard way can indeed be tough, but staying home is definitely worth it!

Surely thank you for reading with me every week and as always, if you have any comments please let me know at [email protected] God bless you and happy hunting!