Sunday, July 3, 2011

I wish I was either lucky or good

Lefty Gomez often said "I'd rather be lucky than good." Unfortunately I'm neither. Lefty also came up with the revolving goldfish bowl to make life easier on older goldfish, so perhaps I shouldn't worry about it.

After taking a ten year break from hunting I decided last year to get back into it. I spent most of the summer trying to understand the regulations, looking for land to hunt on, and shopping for all the absolutely necessary gear. After dozens of hours trying to figure out what was in season where and how I am allowed to kill it, and after hundreds of miles scouting and spending thousands of dollars in new gear (my parents sold my old gear when I moved out), and after spending most of my vacation days in the field, I managed to kill one dove and one squirrel.

Now you may be thinking hes must be a bad shot or he must totally suck at hunting. If you were thinking that then you are correct! I didn't practice at a range, thinking shooting was like riding a bike. My hunting skills are way below sub par. Last October I saw a deer (or something) in the brush. Instead of patiently waiting for a shot, I charged. Not the best tactical decision. It was right down there with the three pirates in a speedboat who tried to hijack a warship.

However, my bad luck is not all my fault.

I really don't have any good hunting land. I live in an urban area and the only place I have to hunt within two hours of my house is public land. Keep in mind the only place anyone in the city has to hunt here is public land. It is crowded. I do have ten acres of private land two and a half hours away that I can hunt on. Unfortunately, I have never seen a living or dead animal on this land.

I grew up hunting in the west. It was all spot and stalk. We would climb a hill look for something in season to shoot and then go shoot it. I've never shot a deer closer than 300 yards. Here in eastern Virginia it is rare to be able to see 300 yards. In most of the swamps (the only public land here) you can't see 30 yards! So, I am having to relearn hunting tactics. So far I haven't hit on anything that works.

This next season I am going work hard at increasing my skills and we will see how lucky I get.
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