Jeana’s Corner – A Life of Love

I have always loved the outdoors; from a little girl making mud pies and going snake hunting, in the pasture field, with my neighbor, there is no place that I would  have rather been. Not sure sure about the snake hunting part though, since seeing one now sends me into panic attack, but nonetheless it got me out and exploring.
I was never allowed to go hunting when I was little. It was a “man’s” sport and no place for a girl. I had one great aunt that came down every year and went with my father, uncles, brother and cousins, and let me tell you she got talked about like she was the latest taboo. I always admired her, and hoped that she would open their eyes to letting me tag along one year, but it was not to be.
After I got out of the Army at the age of 23 I was going through a pretty rough time with my oldest son, and needed something to take my mind off things. I was then working in an iron foundry, with mostly men, many who hunted. They told me I needed to get back in the woods, and relax, enjoy nature for a while. They were right. One weekend they agreed to let me tag along. It was just a rabbit hunt, but it was fun, the dogs were running wild and leading us into thorns and entanglements of brush that I have no idea how we got through, but we did. It was just what I needed to remind myself that nothing in life has to be stressful, that nature is always there to bring you back. At the end of the hunt, they had an ongoing ritual: if you did not make a kill, your hat was tossed in the air and everyone shot at it. Needless to say since it was my first time out, my hat looked as if it could have been used as a spaghetti strainer when we left.
I did not go out much after that, I really had no place to hunt and no one to hunt with. My kids were my main concern and passion and they received nearly all of my time. Between them and work, I was exhausted. My mom got sick a few years later with Ovarian cancer and fought the good fight for nearly 2 years, but God won and called her home. After this I decided to move away from my hometown, there were just too many bad memories there, and the town was dying; no room for growth or expansion and it was depressing.  I moved toward central Ohio, where my mom’s brother lived and began new. It was the best move I could have ever made, not only for me, but for my family as well.
A few months after the move my youngest son began to make friends, and through those friends I met my husband.  We were nearly inseparable from the beginning, like we were soul mates that had been looking for each other for all these years.  He was a hunter, I loved it.  We too our first vacation together to the mountains of Tennessee, it was everything you could dream of.  While on the trip we visited the Bass Pro Shop, as it seemed to be the thing to do, and I spotted it, a pink Parker sidekick XP compound bow. I had to have it. I had only shot bow a couple of times before other than in gym class in school and that did not go very well , as I shot myself in the arm with an arrow, I have no idea how. This bow was calling my name, everything about it was perfect. It was not too big, not too heavy, and most of all it was not too manly. I gave him the big green pouty eyes and face and within a few, we were checking out with MY bow. I was stoked.
Once we got back to Ohio, I practiced nonstop. I was determined to be great before hunting season came in and it was only a couple of months away. I finally got it down, I was ready and good thing because hunting season was here. I went out with my husband that year, and although we go out together, we do not hunt the same stands. I have my own, that we scout during the year, and he has his. I remember being so excited as I tried to walk so quietly into the woods, but it seemed that no  matter how quiet I thought I was being each sound was magnified a thousand times. I was shaking, I was nervous, and I was scared. I was afraid I would get “buck fever” that I had heard everyone talk about and not be able to shoot once I seen a deer, afraid I would choke under the pressure and just not make the shot, so many things ran though my head and none of them were positive.
That first year, I shot/harvested 4 deer, including one buck with my bow. I was so excited and so proud of myself that I could hardly see straight. No one deer was any more special to me than the others as I got nervous each time one stepped out. I felt a rush of excitement and adrenaline just seeing the glimpse of the white tail or the brown of the fur. It seemed like forever after shooting and confirming the shot before climbing down to go recover my kill. Time stood still in my head.
After that first season, and first few kills, I knew that this was in my blood, it was not just a sport it was a passion as well as a way of feeding my family. I do not worry about the rack, and I will gladly shoot the scrub buck that presents itself rather than holding off for the big 180, the meat is the same and my passion is fulfilled. I will not pass up a shot on a bruiser if it presents itself, but to me it is the love, the passion, the thrill, not the trophy of the hunt.

Apr 20, 2015 | Category: Blog, Jeana's Corner | Comments: none

 

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