Sunday, September 7, 2014

September Bowhunting

Another glorious weekend in British Columbia. The sun has been wonderful to return to us.  The temperature dropped last week.  There was that Canadian north wind harbinger of winter last week.   I put the electric heater on at night.  I found another blanket. Gilbert was cuddled closer, taking advantage of my body heat to keep his little cockapoo world toasty.  Then the sun returned.  I love the sun.
Sept 1 is traditionally the first day of bowhunting season on the mainland.  I have shot deer and grouse with my bow but not for a while.  Mostly I take the Excalibur bow out hunting mainly as an excuse  to do a systems check on all the hunting gear before the beginning of serious rifle hunting season Sept 10.  It's really an excuse to ride around in the ATV and walk in the woods with the dog.
I love nature. I love the smells. I love the silence. I love the excitement.  Just driving my truck out to Hope was an adventure.  There's all the outfitting and remembering everything one needs.  I had to stop at the storage locker for the bow and make sure I had arrows. I stopped at the Hub hunting store in Abbotsford for more 300 WSM ammunition so I could target practice.     I have my regular stops.
I love  House of James. I had to get gift for a friends anniversary but I got myself an Amy Grant album as well. She’s singing with James Taylor and Cheryl Crow and Vince Gibb.  I love driving around in the country listening to the stereo.  Amy Woods is great.  
CBC was also great with a story of a fellow surviving being chased by a wolf while cycling in the Yukon. Then on Quarks their science show heard  about the millions of year old dinosaur foot prints and tyrannosaurus rex predators working together.  Colonel Hadfield had a brilliant CBC show on science education in Canada.
 Gilbert sits beside me in the truck.   Every once in a while gives up sticking his head out the window in doggie heaven to come over and lick my ear.  Thats to let me know how he much enjoys drives in the country with me.
Getting the Kodiac 450 ATV off the back of the truck is for me still a death defying moment. I’m terrified backing it down the ramp.   Then it’s gearing up the ATV and making the truck secure.

I didn’t get the break of dawn start I’d hoped.  I always hope for a break of dawn start but more and more I like sleeping in. In fact we only got out and on the trails at about 6 pm.  Gilbert and I both love the sights and smells of outdoors and country driving along the trails.
 Soon an almost full moon was rising above the mountains in the light sky. I found a gravel pit and decided to shot a target with the bow.   I hit the 50 yard target  a bit off of centre but nonetheless hit it.  The trouble was  the bow string broke or flew off. It just disappeared.  Literally disappeared.  No more bow. I had another string but it was an hour back in the truck.  So I took out the rifle and shot two bulls eyes and killed a bottle.  The Winchester rifle is just fine.
I drove back to the truck. It was dark by the time we arrived. I tried to restring the bow in the dark. If I could have I would have camped out hoping for a morning deer.  No luck. In fact,  I decided that I really didn’t want to camp that badly. Without the bow there was no need to spend a night in a tent.  In fact I’d rather drive home and sleep in my own bed.   A couple of hours later I was hauling gear out of the truck and into the home just as I’d done that afternoon in the other direction.
A half day of ‘adventure’ but it was worth it.  I"d completed the ritual season's bow hunt for another year.  We'd had  a couple of hours on the ATV and the charm of  possibility. Gilbert ran about in the woods and sniffed and peed on  everything.  We got a beautiful view of the evergreen pine and spruce woods. The leaves the other trees haven't begun to change to autumn colour yet.  I loved the incredible evening fragrances.  And I  watched a nearly full moon rise in the night sky. One very fast fat rabbit ran across our path and gave Gilbert a moment of intense excitement.
 When rifle season opens we'll get more serious. A group moose hunt is in the planning.  That’s really something to look forward to.  
I love being out in the woods with Gilbert.  Bombing around the backwoods on the Yamaha Kodiac 450 I'm as likely to run over a deer as get a shot at one.  Hunting is not just about the killing.  That's only the way the ignorant think.   When I hunted with my brother and my Dad I think for Dad it was mostly time with the boys. We've never been overly bothered if we don't get anything. But wild game tastes so sweet and it's a cherry on the cake to have a freezer full of delicious for the winter season. I do love venison stew.

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