An Evening in Kim’s Ground Blind
|Bows - Compound Bows|
There is a little alfalfa patch, bordered by a creek, that just cry’s out “wildlife here.” I have a ground blind along the edge of that field, hidden amongst some old round hay bales. It is an easy place to access for a quick hunt after work; but hidden enough that the wildlife seems secure here. It is probably my favorite spot, not necessarily a productive spot, but a spot to relax, unwind and enjoy what Mother Nature offers. My most memorable evening left me wishing I had brought a camera and went something like this.
On a crisp fall day I was yearning to get out in the woods. Looking out the window at work just seemed to fuel the fire. I decided to take off early and head out to my blind. During hunting season I always carry camo and my bow with me for those spur of the moment hunts! I arrived with plenty of light left, changed into my camo, grabbed my bow and over the hill I went. After just a short walk I was settled comfortably in my blind and was prepared for a rather uneventful evening. That was all about to change. I wasn’t there very long before two button bucks and a little four-point jumped the fence adjacent to me and wandered a few yards out into the field. They munched contentedly for a little while then the play began. What fun they were to watch! Chasing, head butting and play fighting. They reminded me of puppies with lots of energy!! They finally scampered back across the fence and out of sight.
Then came five gobblers down through the middle of the field. Too far away to take a shot…it was almost like they knew to stay in the middle and they would be safe!! As they made their way down the field, there was always a guardian on lookout. At no time did I see those turkeys with all their heads down at once. I could only sit there and hope they would select a path that would bring them close to me, but it wasn’t to be.
A little later an eight-pointer came across the creek and into the field directly opposite of me. I watched him making a scrape there along the field edge. Occasionally something in the woods would catch his attention and he would assume a very regal pose. He browsed around in the area of his scrape for a good while before making his way back across the creek. Right after that a six-pointer came out just to the east of me. He was in a blind spot so I couldn’t watch him, but I knew he was there.
Getting down to the last light of the day something caused me to look out of my screened window to the west. Oh boy, here comes a very nice doe. She was right on course to pass in front of my blind at about 15 yards. In anticipation, I ready my bow and wait for her to get closer. The six-point notices her also and decides it might be worth checking out. Now I have the doe coming from my left and the little buck coming from my right. I don’t want to shoot the little buck but I sure do want to shoot the doe! There I was, looking left, looking right, looking left, looking right. I felt like I was watching a tennis match. Their pace and their course would have them meeting directly in front of me. Then they both stopped. She looked at him, he looked at her, then he ran for her and she ran away from him…clear out of the field!
Even with all of this activity that I was lucky enough to witness, the very best part of the evening was a big white barn owl on the sycamore tree branch over the top of my blind. I didn’t know he was there until he flew out in the field, hunting I presume. Like a silent ghost, I watched him glide out and then back to the limb above my blind several times. On his return flights, it would look as though he were going to come right through the window of my blind, only pulling up to land at the last minute. Each time was a moment of pure awe but also eerie in a sense I can’t describe, leaving me with goose bumps and chills. It was as though there were peacefulness, grace and great fierceness all wrapped up in the creature that was the owl. In all of my years outdoors, nothing has touched my soul as this one experience with the owl has. These were magical moments to be cherished.
I didn’t harvest a deer or a turkey that evening, but it is experiences like this that makes the uneventful hunts seem significant and the long cold, wet days on the stand more tolerable. Often when my tags are filled I will go out armed only with a camera hoping to catch something on film as magical as that owl was. Like an addiction….it just keeps me coming back for more!
© September 2006
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