Back on the Hunt After a Disappointing Season

Walt Hunting PA Public Land

Imagine walking through the woods. Leaves are softly crunching under your feet, the air is cool and crisp. The sun shines through breaks in the trees and warms your face. Birds chirp high above in the trees and a squirrel scurries across the forrest floor. For a brief moment you feel one with nature.

As you continue to walk along, you see acorns scattered on the ground. You see a narrow trail that breaks through some brush and you think you’re onto something. The elusive white tail deer that you plan to hunt must be in the area. You make your way back out and eagerly anticipate coming back.

A short time later you find yourself walking the same path. This time you are walking in complete darkness with a tree stand and pack strapped to your back. As if the items on your back weren’t heavy enough, holding a bow in one hand and a heavy maglite in the other has left you exhausted. Maybe hiking in two miles wasn’t such a good idea?

Finally, your long hike comes to a close as you set your gear down next to your tree. After a minute to catch your breath, you begin to climb. Once settled in, you begin to wait. More than an hour passes before the sounds of the forrest change and the light of dawn begins to filter in through the trees.

A few more hours pass and noon is quickly approaching. The only animals to show themselves have been a few birds and one annoying squirrel that seems to be deliberately dropping chewed up pieces of nuts directly on your head. Disappointed, you climb back down the tree and get yourself ready for the long hike back to your vehicle.

On a whim, you decide to press down the game trail a bit to see if things look any better. After a few yards you begin to see spent shotgun hulls and the occasional beer can tossed into the brush. At that moment you realize you haven’t been hunting a deer trail after all. You’ve just spend all morning hunting a path cut in by beer drinking small game hunters.

These are the types of problems that inexperienced hunters face when the only educational tools available are YouTube and a variety of Hunting Blogs. Without someone to show you the ropes, there are a lot of things that you are forced to learn by trial and error. Unfortunately, this can be an extremely time consuming experience that leaves new hunters discouraged.

Up until about two weeks ago, I was discouraged and not very eager to get back into the woods this hunting season. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet someone who is willing to teach me everything I need to know about hunting.

Yesterday we spent some time in the woods pheasant hunting and looking at potential tree stand locations for deer. It was a lot of information to take in and, even though I didn’t get a pheasant, I had a good time. I’ll be rushing out after work tomorrow to climb a tree and wait for deer.

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