This is the second installment of my “Abby Hunts” series, which chronicles the hunting experiences I’ve had with my wonderful girlfriend, Abby. To read our first hunting experience on a cold, windy, rainy duck lake in mid-October, click here.
So after a fun, albeit relatively uneventful, duck hunt, Abby had dipped her wader boots into the world of duck hunting. Now, as October came to a close and crept into November, my thoughts shifted towards my second favorite season – deer season. It was time to trade the mallard decoys and ducks calls for blaze orange and tree stands, at least for the weekend.
I’ve often told Abby about our family’s little deer camp that we all make the pilgrimage to every November. And by pilgrimage, I mean the five miles from my parents’ house to my uncle’s crop farm in Southern Minnesota. But still, it’s a pilgrimage. With some pretty decent deer habitat and a nice heated machine shop complete with a bathroom, kitchenette, and plenty of comfortable seating, my uncle’s got a pretty decent set-up. Abby was excited for the change of pace from the duck boat. As for me, I always enjoy deer season back home. It’s where my hunting roots began – sitting on a fallen log next to my dad shooting at (and missing) squirrels with my BB gun. Great memories.
Opening morning of the 2015 Minnesota firearms season started at 4:30am with a blaring alarm clock. I jumped out of bed and began to throw on some warm base layers for the morning hunt. Abby groaned and mumbled something that sounded a lot like “15 more minutes” and she buried her head in her pillow. I chuckled as I put on my wool socks…she always has a way of making me smile.
After a short drive to the ravine that I had our tree stand placed in, we set off into the darkness with our headlamps bouncing as we walked through the uneven field. Abby is not a huge fan of walking in the dark, so she stayed close on my heels as I led the way to the tree. This was another trust exercise that I passed with flying colors! Soon, the sun rose and our hunt officially began.
I had purchased a two-person tree stand a week or so earlier so we could hunt in the same tree and keep each other company. An unintended side effect of this was that I became a perfect pillow for a mid-morning nap. But I was okay with that.
When the tree stand spot didn’t produce, Abby and I made the decision to try a new spot. Hunting was slow, but we made up for it with whisper-jokes and quite a few deer season selfies. I’m sure that every deer within three hundred yards heard us joking around and laughing, but for us it didn’t matter. We still joke about the events of that opening weekend, such as when I cruelly denied Abby a Snickers bar because the cellophane wrapper would make too much noise, or when we both burst out laughing seconds after starting a game of Little Red Schoolhouse during “prime time”, obviously reducing the chances of us getting a deer.
Neither Abby or I filled our deer tag this year. But she did promise me that she would try deer hunting again, especially if I considered putting up an enclosed guard-tower style blind with a heater and a comfy chair.
I said I’d work on it, so does anyone have a nice chair they don’t want any more?