Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Deer Hunting


Today I watched sunrise and sunset from my deerstand. If you've never done it, believe me it's something pretty special. I wasn't outside all day, but most of it. This morning I heard a pheasant cackling in the nearby corn field and a turkey gobbling from his roost in a tree directly behind me. It's pretty cool to be out in the woods and hear the bald eagles and pileated woodpeckers waking up and beginning another day. The only thing missing from this whole day was deer -- again!! I did not see a single deer from either of the stands I sat in this morning or afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that once the farmers start getting the corn picked my odds of arrowing a deer will increase dramatically.

Today also marked the final day of the first firearms deer season in Minnesota. Remember last week when I said I was going to stay out of the woods until firearms season was over? Well, I should have stuck to that promise. As we were packing up and walking out of the woods this afternoon, we heard some gunshots nearby. (Now keep in mind that it's legal to shoot 1/2 hour before sunrise and after sunset and our sunset tonight was around 4:45.) I heard the first couple shots just up the road right around 5 PM. Then around 5:10 as we were walking toward the road, we heard a shot from the road almost right in front of us. I stopped and then heard the slug breaking branches in the woods just off to our left. Stupid A-holes!! This is precisely why I hate gun season -- there was no way the guy shooting out by the road could even see what he was shooting at because of the thick woods there. It's also posted private property. When we got up to the road and almost back to the truck, we could see them parked in a field drive almost directly across from us. They decided it was time to leave as we got closer, but not before Mr. Johnson stopped them and told those 2 stupid jerks that he didn't appreciate listening to their lead flying through the woods we were walking out of. "Wasn't me man, we weren't even over there!" was the response. If there's one thing I can absolutely not tolerate, it's idiots walking around with loaded firearms!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Idiots with guns. Scary combo. Glad you were both uninjured. When Art and I were up at Hasty last week we were both VERY careful. It seems that shooting from the road is kind of common and it makes me nervous. Art wants to hunt up there next fall. He can hunt from the balcony!

Mary said...

I can tell you are worked up about this and rightfully so! Idiots. Be safe, OK?

About being deerless. I know you want a deer, but what you have their is nature at its finest, you know. I'd flip out over a Pileated.

Gaelyn said...

OMG Ruthie, idiots with guns are very scary. I'd like to think most hunters don't have this mentality. Sorry you didn't even see a deer but you sunset capture just glows.

Mel said...

Oh Ruthie! I'm glad that you didn't get hurt!
Some people just have no idea of the responsibility a firearm comes with.
I don't think I'll ever own one.
Be safe!! Besos,

Jayne said...

People like that give hunters a bad name just shooting at anything.... sheesh. Glad you all weren't hurt Ruthie. No deer, but lots of birds still equals a pretty good day, hey? :c)

troutbirder said...

Grrrr. It's why me and Baron stay off the trails. I hate it. Speaking of deer, a herd has moved into our neighbors woods, visits my apple trees, next to his dog kennel, and now I have barking issues at 2 a.m. I wish all the deer would move to Wisconsin.... solving the entire problem. :) Just kidding.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lynne,
It's the "buck fever" infecting their small little hunter brains. I'm pretty sure the law prohibits people shooting from the road into private property. Perhaps they thought the law was null & void during the last half-hour of the season.......

Yeah Mare, I do get worked up when stupid people jeopardize the safety of others. I've never had that experience before and it was pretty frightening.
Thanks for the reminder about what I should be truly appreciating when I'm on the stand. ;-)

You're right Gaelyn, I don't think most hunters have this mentality. There were a couple of stupid young guys and this is a road where lots of deer cross, so I suppose they thought they'd bag an easy deer in the final minutes of the season.

Thanks Mel. I don't have any problems with firearms as long as they're used responsibly. I hunted with a gun for years, but just don't always trust the judgement of others out hunting. That's why I prefer bowhunting--you have to be able to see what you're shooting at and it's a really short range to the intended target, so there's no chance of collateral damage from shooting at "noise."

You're right Jayne.....I did see lots of good birds, including a pair of scrappy male cardinals still fighting over territory.

Hey Troutbirder, are you in city limits? I'd be more than happy to help you out with that deer problem. ;-)

Mama Pea said...

So what do you do knowing situations like this are occurring and may even get worse? Do you literally risk your own life for the privilege of being a responsible hunter who conscientiously uses meat obtained by hunting and being out in nature doing what you love? There's no way I want "good" people to give in to "bad" but when you have bullets whizzing past you, it gets serious.

I got chills reading your post and feeling the very real danger.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on breaking the ton barrier Friday!

The term "gun NUTS" isn't just an incidental term. Hunting season always scares me.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mama Pea,
That's precisely why we concentrate our efforts on bowhunting and being in the woods prior to the firearms seasons. I'm not sure there's any other real solution here. But our plan is to find and purchase an acreage of our own, then post the hell out of it to make sure no one else ever hunts on it except for us. The hunting situation becomes more difficult as private land owners refuse to give hunters permission (I wouldn't, unless it was someone I knew really well) or private hunting land goes to being leased with exorbitant fees. That leaves only limited public hunting areas that lots of hunters are using at the same time or shooting from the road as we experienced last night.

Thanks Mary Lee.
Gun hunting season scares me a lot more than it used to. They say that the numbers of hunters (especially young people) are declining, but we haven't seen it here. What I do think is that the number of trained and/or ethical hunters is declining.

dAwN said...

Crap...thats scary! Glad you were not injured..
What fun to spend sunrise and sunset in your deer stand.
I think its very cool..more of us should sit in one place for a long period of time and just watch what happens around us..Must feel like meditation.

Mule Deer Hunting said...

That is so scary as hell... And I am glad you were not injured.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the sunrise/sunset pics. I'm glad the sheriff didn't have to come to our house and tell us that there had been an accident. It is stupid fools like that, that give hunting a bad name. I'm glad Rick said something to them. I hope they listened to him.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is against the law to hunt from the road here. Of course many still do it. SCARY. Love the idea of sitting in a blind watching wildlife awaken.

RuthieJ said...

Scary for sure Dawn! But at least we have a few days gun-free now before the next season starts. We'll just have to be more careful and aware.
Yeah, lots of meditating goes on in my stand, in addition to my bird & birdcall ID games!

Thanks Randy. Scary for sure because it was the first time we've ever had that happen and totally unexpected--especially since it was past the time when anyone (sane) should have been shooting anymore.

Hi Mom,
You probably would have heard it on the scanner long before a deputy got to your house, but I'm really glad nothing more happened either.

Hi Lisa,
A blind is definitely the way to go if you want to see wildlife and birds up close.

Chicken Mama said...

Oh, my god. That is SO scary. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we could have been reading "hunter shot in southeastern MN" instead of you telling us about it! I am SO glad you got the opportunity to speak to them. Even tho they didn't admit to it, hopefully it scared them enough to not shoot after dark. Hopefully. (Where's the C.O. when you need him/her?!)

Windyridge said...

That's scary, which is why I will only gun hunt on private land. It increases my chances of not getting randomly shot at. Good for your husband for givin' it to 'em.