Archery Deer Hunting
I found the above photo in an old album and it seems like yesterday so the time machine in my head is very much alive. Our grandpa, Jake Lucas, tried every outdoor sport you can name as far as fishing and hunting and kindled that love in all of his offspring. From the time we could swim he took us out in his rowboat fishing, from the time we could pull back a bow and arrow we were practicing on the hay bale target in the back yard. I should probably mention we grew up on venison burger. Feral and I gravitate to fishing mostly, but there was a time when we couldn’t wait for deer season, in particular the October archery season. It is the most picturesque time to be out in Michigan’s woods with its foggy cold morning landscapes, brilliant turning colors and a chance to see all manner of wildlife.
Every year at this time I imagine/remember how great it would be to sit in a ground blind with my back against a tree watching over a misty low ground or swamp waiting for any sign of movement. It is so peaceful. Or still hunting, which is silent creeping through the woods on the small chance of stumbling on bedded deer and getting off a shot. I won’t kid anyone here – I was more likely to cut myself on an arrow than shoot a deer, and on that score, the deer won. My memories are tied up in the glimpses of giant deer with immense racks sneaking though the wood, and equally, the times when a small doe or fawn would come so close to my blind I could reach out and touch them. Or the camping. Someone would put a paper plate against the two track berm and we’d have bow practice to see who was shooting the best. And discussing among the hunters, as evening loomed, who would be hunting where after spending the whole day scouting for miles around the camp. And the hot bowl of stew after a cold night of seeing no deer. It was all good.
Our buddy Al after a good rain. Notice the sleeping bag and blanket hung over bushes. Back then (late 70s / early 80s) there was no such thing as a waterproof tent or a 5 dollar plastic tarp to cover a leaky tent. You could always count on a small lake settled somewhere on the floor after a good soaker. The white dot above the blanket, off in the distance, is a paper plate for target practice. Not sure who took the shot below, could have been Feral or one several other guys that often met us for the archery deer season. Possible Jeff or Sam, both avid hunters and campers. Or Mike and Denny, two of our trout camp regulars that also bow-hunted.