This is where the hunter walks away

Written on 01/22/2024
Outdoors with Bud Fields

There was a great Country Western song I always liked, and the title was, “This is Where the Cowboy Walks Away.” We all used to enjoy watching the old cowboy western movies where, at the end of the show, the cowboy rides off into the sunset after restoring law and order to the West or wins the pretty lady, and that ended the movie.

Well, I changed the wording somewhat to “Hunter” in an effort to pay tribute to another deer season coming to an end. Sadly, this is the truth, and to many other deer hunting enthusiasts, it is certainly a sad time. We all wait patiently (maybe impatiently) for the Opening Day, and suddenly it disappears.

I actually pulled the plug on deer season about the middle of December, and now I will look forward to Oct. 1 when it will be Opening Day of the 2024 Indiana Archery Deer Season when I can once again head for the woods, most likely heading for what I simply refer to as “the two-man stand.” This stand has produced well over 50 deer for myself, my son, two of my grandsons, and a couple of different hunting buddies through the years.

It is extremely rare to hunt this spot and not see deer activity. I was asked several times, “What are you going to do if a storm blows that tree down?” Heaven forbid! I just smile and tell them, “After saying a few unmentionable words, I will simply move the stand to the tree next to it!”

I have to admit, I am always saddened to close out a deer season. I started deer hunting in 1964, and I realize the older I get, the more difficult it is to do things I really enjoy doing. Getting up every day around 4 a.m., especially in the cooler weather and when it is raining, I often want to roll over and go back to sleep.

I have also noticed it is much harder getting from my truck to my hunting locations, and it seems like someone has moved my stands farther from the road. I notice the chill in the air before daylight, and when I am fortunate to take a deer, it has become increasingly more difficult to perform the field-dressing process, especially when I am hunting alone.

The task of getting the deer from the woods to the truck is not fun. I think back several years ago when I dragged pretty large deer up and down ravines and ridges with no assistance at all. Many of the does I carried out on my shoulders, but those days are over.

If I didn’t love deer hunting as much as I do, I would probably hang up my spurs, but I want to deer hunt for as many more years as possible. So, I try to figure out ways to do that.  I have two grandsons who enjoy deer hunting, and we try to hunt as much as possible as a team. The last several years, they have both been instrumental in me being able to continue hunting.

As a matter of fact, a few years ago, they had to drag me out of the woods, and I am thankful I was not hunting alone that morning. I ended up in the Emergency Room about two hours later and transferred to another hospital where I required three surgeries.

I admit, I do hunt solo at times, and I invested in a used ATV to assist me getting to and from the woods. It also helps me when I relocate hunting stands, place trail cameras, and transport deer from the woods to the truck. The “Critter-Getter” has paid for itself numerous times.

I added a 2,500 lb. winch to the front, gun and bow holders, and an LED light bar on the front. It is great to have it ready when I shoot a deer that ends up in the bottom of those steep ravines.

Some people accuse me as being addicted to deer hunting, and I admit I enjoy doing it. But I always considered an addiction to be something you want to quit doing. I do not want to quit deer hunting, bass fishing, writing outdoor articles, sharing tips and techniques, and getting younger folks involved as long as I can.

I plan to continue my ambitions, and I hope you enjoy reading my articles. Until deer season arrives again, this is where the hunter walks away. But stay tuned because this is where the angler walks in! Prepare yourself for some fishing and camping-related articles!