The new year is here tomorrow. I’d like to invite you to go deer hunting with me. It starts on July 14 and runs until September 23. How hard is the hunt? Let me do my best to explain this. There are hunts for all levels of experience from beginners to experts. The Santa Lucia mountains don’t care how many days you’ve been in the field. They have been standing for thousands of years, and thank goodness they will continue for thousands more. At the end of the three day hunt, I have faith you can say it was an amazing experience.
I set up the campsite and stay with you there overnight. This is important because the blacktail are most active the first and last hour of light. We hunt the next day at the crack of dawn. We climb in the dark for hours on a small path through thick brush. The brush will pull at your clothes and make forward movement difficult. There are several places you can ambush a buck. I’ll be there to walk you through the different parts of the hunt step by step.
We sit and glass for up to ten hours waiting for the buck to come through. We break up the hunt with a nice siesta and lunch. It’s possible you won’t see a single deer until you get your opportunity at the one forked horn buck. This hunt will test your resolve. It could be frightfully hot. Ninety degrees in the shade is within the realm of possibility in these mountains so far from the marine layer on the coast.
There are a couple other dangers that could present themselves, but getting through them adds to the accomplishment of the hunt. There are fires. If you don’t pay attention to your body, you could get heat stroke. You could get bit by a rattlesnake or eaten by a mountain lion. Black bears call these draws and canyons home. You get the middday doldrums. You could fall off one of the cliffs. You could ask to go off on your own, get turned around, and feel lost. You could be miserable for awhile.
It is all worth it though. You can find what you are capable of and bring that back to your everyday life. Make no mistake about it, life presents us all with challenges. It is nice to surpass challenges you made for yourself.
We can keep glassing for that blacktail buck until we find him. This will save us some walking for sure. I’ll pack the food and your bow or rifle.
Again it will all be worth it when you get that opportunity for a buck and make it happen. You will make the shot. You will feel the reward that comes from stepping into those challenges and still finishing. You will enjoy delicious venison barbeque with your friends and family. You share your story.
For me this kind of a hunt is the most satisfying. A day trip or staying in a hotel is more comfortable than the trip described above. It all depends on the type of experience you are after. Communication is key. I can move the experience in the right balance of fun and challenge.
I feel blessed these kinds of adventures are still around in the year 2021. I think you will agree.
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