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Bowhunting South Dakota

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Day one of vacation was pretty much torture.  So, why would someone subject themselves to this “torture”.  That’s what I was asking myself last Monday when I started by yearly pilgrimage to the tree stand.

You see, bowhunting has been a big part of my life for the past 15 years.  If you bowhunt, or know someone who does, you know how obsessed they can get with getting out and getting up.

If you bowhunt you know what I’m talking about.  From the walk in on a dark cloudy morning  to accidentally “bumping deer” and getting “blown at”.  From tedious hours to minutes that seem like hours.  Bowhunting for some reason makes things right and keeps things right with me.

Back to day one.  Every year I tell myself I’m going to do a day in the stand.  Up in the dark, down in the dark.  All day in about 2 1/2 square feet.   You don’t get down for anything.  By anything, I mean you better have that taken care of for the day before you get there.

That first day, all day sit was a sort of torture.  Is the stand in the right spot?  Are there deer in this area?  Where are they feeding?  Your mind can go 100.5 miles per hour when your up in the stand especially the first day in the woods. You’re mind is a funny freaky whirring to fast place!

Oh, then there’s the whole “off grid” part of the deal.  We get so used to carrying technology with us that not being able to text and surf can cause some withdrawal.  That’s right:

Where I was hunting was down enough in a hole and out of cell phone range that you can’t call, text or surf.   If you didn’t bring it in you don’t have it and you can’t go get it.  It’s you and the deer and the squirrels and the coyotes and the ducks in the creek and the beaver who comes out for breakfast just after the break of dawn. It’s watching loads of turkeys fly down in the morning and back to bed in the evening.  Oh, and did I say no radio?  No twitter? No Facebook? The whole world comes to a screeching halt.  But really, that’s why I do it.

Someone once said the only time we can truly find out something new about ourselves is when we enter into the classroom of silence.  Believe me, this past week I went to school.

I’ve harvested a BIG deer before.  In 2009 I was able to shoot a buck that scores 174.4.  In non hunting terms, that’s a BIG deer. I know you don’t get to shoot, let alone see a buck of a lifetime every time you sit in a stand.  I’ve hung enough stands to know that opportunities like that are few and far between.

So why do I sit there?  Why do other people that bowhunt do this?

The world is a crazy place.  When you’re out, when you’re up, in a tree after a day or so the world slows down and the world starts to make sense again.

I didn’t get a deer this year.  I might hunt some more, I might not. I’m OK with the world if it happens that way.  I’m OK with it cause I got out.  I got up.  I got quiet.

If you were out and were successful we’ll be asking for your photos very soon and you could win with Manley Tire and Oil in Manley, Minnesota.




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