I know that most of the readers here, right now, have nothing but fishing on their mind. After all, it IS summer and in most states, that is the primary outdoor activity this time of year. Fortunately, Texas is not one of those states.
Although while a lot of outdoor’s men and women have a fishing pole in their hand in June, others have the urge to shoot their bow or rifle at any legal game they can hunt. I just happen to be one of the latter.
For me, fishing is a pastime, and although I love to get out there and cast a line or two, I would rather be out there hunting something. I do not care if it is with my bow or rifle or a peashooter, if is open season on some game, then I am there.
I am not alone…
On a recent hunt with Chester Moore, he and I decided to try our luck at some whitetails and hogs. I was introduced to his good friend Josh Sloan. Now, I realize that first impressions are so very important, and after meeting Josh in the wee hours of the morning, I was convinced that we were going to have a good day. I was not wrong.
Sunrise found us huddled in a blind that overlooked a fire -break. After Josh set me up with one of his rifles on a swivel stand, we sat back, and the three of us quietly waited for the action to begin.
Now, with three people in a deer blind, the quiet does not last too long. Soon, the whispers began. We started by telling each other whitetail stories of the ones we killed and the ones that got away. If I remember correctly, it seems that there were many more tales of the ones that got away!
We would tell a few lines and then look out the window of the blind to check on any deer movement. Convinced that nothing was moving, we continued the story. As any hunter knows, stories soon are accompanied with laughter. Have you ever tried to hold in a belly laugh, or be very quiet while you are bursting inside and your eyes are tearing up? I must admit, for me, it is not an easy thing to do, especially when Josh told the story!
After sitting for about three hours, we finally caught some deer movement. Five nice does walked across our clear-cut as we patiently waited for a buck to follow. Unfortunately, no buck was with this group of does, but it did not matter at all to me.
I had so much fun with the guys I was with, that shooting a deer might have proved to be a distraction. Well… maybe not! My point is that even though we did not have “lady luck” with us that morning, we still had a successful hunt.
Josh offered to bring us to his house to meet his family and enjoy the best chili this side of the Rio Grande. Believe me, he was not kidding. It was absolutely delicious and as we enjoyed our lunch, we discussed our plan to try for some hogs later in the day.
That afternoon, just before 4pm, Josh took us to his hunting ground in search for hogs. After we walked through a wooded area, we finally arrived at our “honey hole.” However, our metal blind was sitting in a foot of water.
One by one, we waded through the water and climbed up the metal ladder to the blind. That is when I found out that my waterproof snakeskin boots were no longer waterproof. Oh well… looks like Academy is going to get my business again.
Once we were secured in our blind with rifles at the ready, we quietly continued our conversations about previous hunts. The feeder was about 100 yards away, and I was convinced that this was hog heaven. It was only a matter of time before the action would begin. Unfortunately, time was not a luxury for us.
As darkness blanketed our area, Josh would use a green night vision light every 10 minutes or so to see if any hogs came in to the feeder. We never did see a hog that night, although each of us at different times swore we heard one.
That must happen to every hunter I know. Your mind persuades you that you only need to stay a few more minutes. You know you heard something just in the bush.
Finally, we called it a night, shook hands and headed for a place to rest. My flight back home was the next afternoon, and I still had to pack. The good news was that at least I did not have to pack a cooler full of meat and lug it home. The bad news was that I did not have to pack a cooler full of meat and lug it home.
I have said this before, but it is worth repeating. Too many people feel that if you are not successful in taking the game you seek, then the whole hunt was unsuccessful.
I could not disagree more.
A successful hunt doesn’t mean you come home with the game you sought, it simply means that you come home—safe. Bringing home some of the bounty is a bonus as far as I am concerned.
I hope to have many more years to be able to hunt whitetails and pigs…and anything else that is in season, but the good company and the good memories may only happen once. I may never get the chance to hunt with Josh again, who knows? However, I hope I am wrong. He really was a blast to be around and I feel blessed to have met him and his family.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]