Well I’m back at it again. Like last summer, I have decided to take on some different activities and write about them for your amusement. This time I have gone against everything I believe in and endured one of Union County’s favorite activities: deer hunting.

Keep in mind, like with fishing, I have never done this before. I have never worn camo and definitely have never shot a gun. For this trip, I enlisted the services of a couple hunters from Northeast Mississippi to be my guides, and I promise you they did not know what they were getting themselves into.

Hunting 101

I was given the option of hunting either in the morning or afternoon, and after finding out that the morning trip would start around 4:00 a.m., I quickly chose option two, arriving at the cabin around 2:30 p.m. My guides took one look at my attire: jeans, sneakers and an abundance of coats, laughed for a minute, then gave me a camo coverall. Children’s size coverall.

I was asked about what I wanted to gain from this experience, and my immediate response was to shoot a gun. Reluctantly, I was handed a gun and I had the opportunity to take a couple shots before we left the cabin. I’ll have you know, I hit the target both times, and was told the first shot would have killed a deer. Shocking, I know.

On our way to our hunting spot, I’m educated on deer and what exactly we were looking for. Now, I have printed many deer pictures throughout my year and a half with the Gazette, but I could not tell you the difference between a doe and a buck. I just type whatever information is provided.

I quickly learn that my guides are pretty good at all of this, as they point out both deer and hog rubbings, and even more impressive, know the difference between the two. I’m talking they could look at trees in the distance and tell right away which animal had been rubbing against it. I just nodded my head and agreed with them.

The day that I chose to go out hunting falls during a week that my companions referred to as a “rut,” meaning the deer were mating, making it easier to come across a good sized buck since, chances are, they are chasing a doe. I am also informed about what to shoot and what not to. Like, they do not shoot any young deer, since they need time to grow and they do not shoot any doe, especially during this week. Don’t want to miss an opportunity to bag a big buck. There are, however, some animals they will always shoot at.

The area we were at is well inhabited with hogs, which multiply very quickly and need to be killed since they eat up everything. They eat all the good stuff, then there will be no deer around. Also, coyotes are in the area, and they, along with hogs and others, will kill the deer. Coyotes also eat turkey eggs, and that’s not cool either.

I soak up all of this information, and before I know it, we are at our spot, and we get out of the truck to assume our spots.

Don’t slam the door!

Within two minutes of our arrival, I make my first mistake. Not thinking, I forgot to channel my inner Elmer Fudd, “Be vewy, vewy quiet,” and I slammed the door of the truck, probably scaring all the deer to the next county. I’m quickly taught how to properly shut a truck door while hunting.

I find it easiest to explain the remaining events of the trip in a timeline.

3:30 p.m. We make it to our spot (quietly) and set up camp.

3:40 p.m. I’m on one end of the trailer while one of my guides is on the other. He spots a coyote and I make my way over to take a couple pictures. He choses not to shoot at the coyote since it is a good 200 yards away and could possibly move a little closer. The coyote goes back in the woods, and we do not see him again.

3:48 p.m. I hear a rustling noise over in my corner. I’m told there are mice on the roof, in the wall, and if it gets cold enough, they will make their way indoors. Lovely.

4:03 p.m. I hear a shot in the distance and wonder who killed what. Also, a raccoon makes an appearance in the distance, too far away to shoot.

4:30 p.m. I’m starting to think I’ve jinxed the trip as no deer have appeared, and I start texting friends.

4:50 p.m. My best friend tells me via text that Christmas dinner with her family in Selmer is on the 23rd. Sweet!

5:00 p.m. I can’t believe it’s already been an hour and a half, and it’s getting dark. Still no deer.

5:09 p.m. The first raccoon now has a buddy. I watch them move around. Also, the mice are at it again, and I use my phone as a light to see if they are inside.

5:30-ish We decided it’s getting too dark and pack up to head back to the cabin. It is at this time that I’m informed by the gentlemen that between the two, they have taken only around five shots all hunting season. Now I do not feel as bad about not seeing any deer.

On our way back to the cabin, we spot a doe coming out from the woods. I am then told of the technique, “window shopping.” When I hear these words, I immediately think of looking in the windows of the pretty dress shops in Oxford, but this is a little different. Apparently window shopping is spotting a deer while driving and trying to shoot it out of the truck. I assure you we did not do this, but I did try to get a picture before the doe disappeared, probably back to a nice sized buck.

Despite not seeing any deer and getting the “full experience,” my first hunting trip was actually a lot of fun. Now about the picture with this story. That deer was killed earlier in the week, and I was given the opportunity to pose with the head in the event we did not bag any on the trip. Sorry to disappoint, but I had nothing to do with the killing of that one.

Special thanks to my huntin’ buddies for allowing me to tag along on their trip!

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