Reflections from the Deer Stand

White-tailed Deer

photo by Scott Bauer

There are many strategies that hunters use to take deer. Some hunters use a deer stand. Sitting quietly waiting for a deer to come along presents a prime opportunity to observe nature. The savvy hunter will be in place in their stand before dawn. And as the sun comes up the sunrise can be spectacular. In our busy lives, we simply do not have the time to actually watch the sun come over the horizon, but up in the stand the time is right for observing and reflecting.

A couple years ago, my husband told me about his morning hunt. The sunrise that morning was dazzling. Crane Lake had frozen over during the night, and the winds were completely calm. Sitting in the stand as quietly as possible it seemed that sound was amplified.

But wait, what was that noise? It seemed so loud in the silence of the morning. Something was shuffling around in those leaves over there, was it a deer coming? Looking in that direction there was a weasel running around. He had turned white in anticipation of the season that was coming. In the winter, the Weasels turn completely white with a little black tip on the end of their tail.

Boreal Owl

After a while, an Owl came along and sat in the tree an arms length away. They gazed into each other eyes in shocked surprise for what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was perhaps only a few seconds. The little Owl, that was no bigger than a football, was maybe a Boreal Owl. After a bit, he flew away leaving my spouse in awe of seeing something so special.

Then what sounded like a herd of deer came into view, two does and three fawns. The adrenaline was building as he held his shot for a buck. Although he had a doe permit, he was waiting for a buck. The deer were suspicious, they could smell something with their acute sense of smell, but they couldn’t see where the scent was coming from. He sat quietly as they worked their way along the trail.

Although he didn’t shoot anything that day, he looked forward to the next day to enjoy the silence of the north woods, or maybe one could say the loud clamoring of nature. I’m sure there are other awesome tales to tell about the fall hunt. I’d love to hear about them.

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