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Jean S. Strickland

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The Amatuer Huntress
By Jean S. Strickland
Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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There's never a dull moment for me in the deer stand. Come with me on a humorous journey through the woods!


The Amateur Huntress
About three years ago my ex-husband convinced me to squeeze the trigger on his Browning 7 mm 08 rifle which resulted in the slaying of my first whitetail buck. A beautiful six  point. It was love at first shot I guess you could say because I was hooked instantly. There was no experience in my lifetime that could compare and I decided right then that the Browning rifle was mine and he could get himself another one. He gladly took me up on that deal and I became his hunting partner. With his help, I bagged five that season and four the next. 
This year I decided that I would not only hunt when he was home but also when he was away at work and all by myself in my own stand.  I talked him into building a deer stand just for me to put in the woods within walking distance behind our home so I would be close in the event I fell out of it and also for the convenience of hunting while he was gone to work. It took little arm twisting to get him to do that for me and together we scouted and picked out a spot to erect “my deer stand” just in time for deer season this year. It’s been pretty successful for me. I’ve bagged a seven point and a spike. Not bad for the first year hunting in a stand by myself that we had just put up. I’ve been pretty committed to doing my part putting out corn and our own concoction we call “Cheater dust”. 
So the time came for him to go back offshore and for me to stick to my promise to hunt while he was gone. I’ve had to talk myself into getting out of my warm bed a few times and I’ll admit that more than once I’ve gotten out of my stand too early from an evening hunt with the excuse that I didn’t want to “worry about trying to find a deer in the dark” and “how would I find someone to help me clean it if I killed one that late”...blah blah blah.   But I couldn’t let that one buck tag go to waste.  So I continued to feed and check the camera and based on what I was seeing I stood a pretty good chance at bagging a “wall mounter” that would make any hunter or huntress proud. For this reason I persisted and hunted every chance I got on my days off. Well... most of them.
Based on what I saw on my infrared camera and everything I have read and heard, they are in full rut now and I decided to do everything I could to increase my odds this particular beautiful Sunday afternoon. I had a brilliant idea that I would bring the little brown bottle of “doe in heat” with me today. Surely that would bring him in. I stuck the little bottle in the pocket of my camo jeans, put on my comfy camo boots and camo hat with the cute little pink Browning emblem, slung the Browning over my shoulder, and away I went. A big girl… a real huntress!
It was a beautiful evening. Not too hot, not too cold. Very comfortable with a pretty good  breeze. Too breezy at times I thought as my deer stand danced in the wind. I had taken a good nap before my evening hunt and I wasn’t at all sleepy so my mind wandered as it always does. I watched the squirrels and the birds play as I tried to convince myself that I really didn’t have a full bladder. It was my imagination. I really didn’t need to go as badly as I thought. Trying to convince myself that I hadn’t left way too early and had several hours left to “hold it”, my mind wandered all over the place. Then it hit me. I had a wonderful idea. The wind was blowing and  I had the little brown bottle in my pocket and what if I just dripped a drop or two out the window when the wind was blowing towards the east (my deer stand faces the east of course). So with a camo glove on (we wouldn’t want anything to see my hand now would we), I slipped my hand under the black cloth that covers my side windows and dropped a couple of drops out the window on each side. Seemed like a great idea. I could smell it pretty well and I felt sure a big buck could too. I continued with my ritual about every thirty minutes or so. Then the unspeakable happened. I was holding the lid with my right hand and the bottle with my left hand. The right hand with the lid had no glove of course and not paying attention to what I was doing, I almost dropped it. After juggling it around making sure it didn’t hit the floor and make noise, I caught it… Upside down in my hand! Now I’m sure you see where this is going. Oh my goodness, what do I do now? I have doe urine on my hand. So I made the intelligent decision to wipe it on my pants leg…. Not on the chair, not on the pillow I was sitting on… on my pants leg!   Brilliant huh?
So I sat there with my full bladder, smelling doe urine and watching the squirrels and the birds eat away at my corn. I have to admit that this is one of my favorite things to do while I’m in the woods. The thought of watching the animals is probably a big part of why I actually go through the trouble of dragging myself out of my warm bed at 4 a.m., taking a bath with the special green soap, and walking in the mud to my stand. Anyway, the black squirrel was there that I call “the black squirrel of death” because he always shows up just before a buck walks out and when he runs I know the buck is on the way. I was certain that his appearance meant that I was guaranteed a buck today. Besides, I was doing all the right things.
Just around 5 p.m. I began to hear the strangest sound just North of my stand. Without leaning forward I couldn’t see in that direction and I knew that it was probably nothing. It has taken Bill awhile to convince me that every noise I heard in the forest wasn’t a deer. But I was sure that this wasn’t because I hadn’t heard this sound before. This was different. As I tuned in closer it became apparent that the noise I was hearing was coming from the trees. And as I listened it became even more apparent that it was getting closer to me. The strangest sound I had ever heard. It was more commotion than any squirrel could make and I didn’t know what to make of it. It was quite frightening I have to say. Could  it be a black bear climbing a tree? Or could it be…. My mind raced for the answer as the sound got closer and closer and I became more and more nervous. I then reminded myself what my husband had told me once when I told him I was scared to come down out of my stand after dark. “Why are you scared? As long as you have that rifle, you’re the baddest thing in the woods!” He was right.  I was loaded and ready for whatever it was. But my fear and curiosity got the best of me and I slowly leaned forward to look out. Before I could get my head to the window something caught my eye. Something big and black in the sky…. Buzzards! What? What in the world are they after? There’s nothing dead around here is it? Not yet anyway.  I leaned forward more and realized that I was surrounded by buzzards, some in the sky and some in the trees! All around me were these big black ugly birds! “Why? Oh my God! It must be the stuff from the little brown bottle”. I sank back in my chair and closed my eyes in disgust with myself and thought, “How in the world and I going to escape these things? Well, surely if I wait until dark they’ll be gone.  That’s what I’m supposed to do anyway right?” 
I sat there thinking about how funny this actually was. I think it was delirium setting in but whatever it was, it was calming me down. But just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I heard a sound on the tin roof of my stand. I had to think about it a second before I could convince myself it wasn’t loud enough or big enough to be a buzzard coming after me so once again I sat back in my chair. Just then, through the only open window in my stand, which happens to be right in front of my face, in flies a big fat red bird. I’m sure I had scared it just as much as it had scared me because it flew right back out the same hole it flew in. “Whew! What else could happen”, I wondered as it became more obvious than ever that my bladder really was full. “ Don’t even think about it. Just relax and sit back and watch the squirrels play.”
So the time passes and dark falls. Now certain that I’m not going to take the wall- mounter I was hoping for and pretty sure the big black birds were gone, I carefully made my way out of the stand. “What an experience”, I thought as I laughed at myself. “Dang it, I stink!” Then it hit me… “Oh my God….I have become a ‘doe in heat’! What if…but then again, I am the baddest thing in the woods…. .Ain’t I?”






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Reviewed by J Howard 6/11/2011
well written and funny. good sense of humor is such an important quality in this life...although the subject matter is tuff on this ol gal- my dad was a hunter for years, so i do have Some appreciation of the skill involved...enjoy life as you can!
Reviewed by Felix Perry 1/19/2009
LOL Love this story and your sense of humour as an old hunter, not quite so high tech (throw out some apples on a trail and hunker down under an old spruce deadfall on a hill overlooking them) I could see this happening. I half expected you to tell us that you were attacked and almost raped by a buck on the way home but this was even better. Well done Jean...great storytelling.


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