There is a group on Facebook we belong to called “I Hunt Colorado.” This is a group where people of all skill levels and hunting knowledge can ask questions about hunting gear, areas, etc., as well as post pictures and share their thoughts on hunting. This year I noticed there were a lot of posts from new hunters regarding what they should take hunting, including gear, food and what caliber of gun they need. I am fairly new to hunting, but Greg has been hunting since he could hold a gun, so I am lucky to have someone who is knowledgeable to help me get prepared, which is important.
The preparation for a deer hunt takes us a few hours. We start with packing our backpacks with snacks, sunglasses, headlamp, pen, gloves, knives, small saw, camera/phone, rope and plenty of water.
Our favorite snacks to take hunting include, jerky, Chex mix, and a few types of candy. These types of food can be in noisy packages. We always transfer our snacks to fabric pouches. I bought a few from Etsy’s McKinney Made Shop, and they work great!
We take a headlamp in case we have a late successful hunt or need to make it back to the truck safely after the evening hunt. Sunglasses are important on those sunny days to cut the glare and increase your ability to see an animal. Always pack a pen to sign your tag out in the field. Don’t forget to take a piece of twine or string to attach your tag securely. We noticed this year that people are also recommending medical gloves to prevent infection if you have cuts on your hands.
You definitely want to take a good knife with a sharp blade and gut hook. We also take a small saw to cut through the pelvic bone. Take several bottles of water to drink, wash the deer out and clean your hands.
You will also need your binoculars, blaze orange vest/hat, gun and bullets.
Let the Hunting Begin!
We started our hunt on Saturday near Conifer, CO on opening day for 2nd Rifle. It was a chilly 23 degrees when we arrived at our hike in spot at 6:oo a.m., right before daylight. At 6:30 we hiked up the hill to an area where there is an open feeding spot. We sat with the trees to our back to stay hidden. We were not having any luck spotting a deer so we decided to change positions and move to the other side of the meadow.
We finally spotted a mule deer behind a couple trees. I looked through my binoculars and actually saw 2 deer. The first one was a doe and I never got a good look at the other one. I am assuming it was a fawn. We are not there for does, we want to spot a buck! We stayed close to that area the first day for an evening hunt. No luck on the first day, we left empty handed.
On the second day we changed our strategy a little and started on the other side of the open meadow, thinking the deer would come up from the draw on either side of us into the trees. The only deer we saw that morning was a lone fawn. The fawn stared at us for a few minutes through the trees and then started heading towards us. She was just curious, but we were curious to know why she was alone. So, we waited to see if there were other deer with her.
The morning hunt was over and it was about 9:30, so we hiked about a mile and a half to an area where we had seen deer in the past. We sat for the afternoon and did not see a single deer. We started heading back to the meadow. We know the deer bed down during the day, so we looked under trees on our way back.
As I was passing by a group of trees, I spotted what I thought was a rock at first, but then backed up to make sure. It was actually a deer hind end. My heart started pounding. I looked to my left and the deer was staring right at me through the trees. Not only was my heart pounding I started breathing heavily in anticipation. It didn’t move so I backed up and put down my pack. Greg and I looked at it through our binoculars to determine if it was a buck. We saw possible antlers on the left, but could not see any on the right. Was it just a branch? We don’t shoot unless we know for sure, so Greg went to the side of the deer as I got set-up for a shot just in case. He confirmed it was indeed a buck.
At this point, I was breathing heavily, my heart was pounding, and my body was shaking, but I was ready to shoot this beautiful animal. I took the shot and it skimmed under the buck. He stood up and I took another shot. The bullet hit him right in the neck and he was down.
It took me a few minutes to collect myself, slow down my breathing and go take a look at my deer. This is a very exciting moment!
Hunting – a Lifestyle
Hunters don’t just think about hunting during the fall, they think about it all year. They are eating their harvested animal, telling hunting stories, and planning for the next hunt. We are hunters, conservationists, and we love the outdoors. We respect the animals we hunt and land we are allowed to hunt on. We enjoy wearing camo and may wear it to Cabela’s year round. Unless you are a hunter, you don’t quite understand the feeling of a successful hunt. Unless you are a hunter, you don’t realize the hard work, the many miles walked, the multiple days of not seeing an animal, and the skill it take to successfully harvest an animal.
We will be going to Wyoming for a whitetail deer hunt in a couple weeks. In the meantime I made some homemade deer jerky for our next hunting adventure.
Live, Love, Hunt