Blog: Midwest & The Rest

Photography, experiences, and essays about conservation, restoration, ecology, and all things nature in the Midwest and the rest of the world!

Subtleties

Found more than harvested afield this fall so far. Somewhat of an understatement…have yet to harvest anything. It is a harsh reality especially when major, future meal plans call for meat, yet have learned to aim truer and shoot straighter, in both practice and in life.

Even if nothing was harvested, I always take photographs and lessons. This is one takeaway from this hunting season:

Subtleties.

Subtle deer highway into eventual private land.

Subtle deer highway into eventual private land.

Fine, delicate intricacies should not go overlooked. Rather they should be lived for some time in the moment, recorded to a degree, and studied afterwards.

Keeping a field journal most certainly helps, as does a daily journal. Record repeat findings as well as peculiar events. Write down attitudes, thoughts, motivations or feelings. Fleeting or staunch, personal struggles or uncertainties can lead to mistakes or dampen future outings.

I found myself pulled in different directions at times. Upon hearing the “whoosh” of grouse wings preparing for flight, I would lose track of my stalk and plan. Honestly took a few outings and some time behind the wheel to put it together…but many a grouse flushed led to deer being spooked from hiding. Changed my attitude and diligently sticked to plan to follow deer, no matter how enticing the grouse seemed. Early on, the deer were less observant and walked in the open, but later in the season, they were hard to find if at all. This I knew about the deer, but had I noticed this pattern sooner, it may have upped my chances of walking away with a harvest.

Here are a few pictures showcasing some findings:

Stopped at transition in forest, heard grouse, pursued, spooked deer, got nothing.

Stopped at transition in forest, heard grouse, pursued, spooked deer, got nothing.

Ghost grouse.

Ghost grouse.

Ghost deer.

Ghost deer.

As always, subtle wind changes make or break deer hunts.

As always, subtle wind changes make or break deer hunts.

-M-