Highlights of Post writer’s trip include plenty of gore, no venison
Have you ever seen Duck Dynasty or an episode of Looney Tunes where Bugs Bunny evades Elmer Fudd’s always-loaded shotgun? Yeah, hunting is nothing like that.
Walking into my first hunting experience, I was first greeted by a man sawing at a severed deer head and a backyard full of deer carcasses, legs and pelts.
Once he finally cut through the forehead, like it or not, I saw my first brain. Yes, they are soft and squishy. Surprisingly, the smell didn’t inspire my earlier meal to make an appearance.
It was then that I realized I would not be impersonating Elmer Fudd for the day. I had no clue what I was getting myself into.
After a hearty meal and donning our hunters’ orange, it was time for five men and me to load up and head for the family’s private property for some deer huntin’.
Gun in my hands, I was finally a hunter. I never pulled the trigger though; with my aim, I think I would have killed a human instead of a deer.
The plan for the day was to use a technique called a drive. In a drive, a group of people is sent to scare the deer of the area into a certain part of the woods, conveniently toward the hunters.
The tricky part is getting to where you’re supposed to be hunting — quietly. My feet and the dry crunching leaves under them didn’t agree with that, or my balance.
My job was to follow experienced hunter Ron Docie. The rest of the party was spread out throughout the valley ready to make noise or hunt. It took us about 45 minutes to get to our spot, though I admit it might have been quicker if I were able to be stealthier. You have to shuffle your feet, step and pause in a certain manner that I couldn’t seem to do at all. Soon, it was time to simply sit and wait for our prey to come our way. It didn’t take long.
In mid-stride we heard rustling leaves as three deer made their way across the valley. I was surprised to feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Stuck standing on one foot, I didn’t dare move or make a sound. I heard the click of Mr. Docie loading his gun and held my breath. This was it.
Crouching down, Mr. Docie took aim at three white-tails. But instead of getting closer, the deer turned in the opposite direction, away from us.
Our chances for the day were shot. Deer: 1, Humans: 0. Time to walk back to the car and head home.
Though the day wasn’t technically a success, my images of hunting have drastically changed. It’s not all about camo, shooting random things and hollerin’. It’s a strategic and tough business. It’s not easy, but it’s still fun if you’re with the right people. I’m very thankful for the Docie family for sharing that experience with me.
Lindsay Friedman is a staff writer for The Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.