Bow Season: The Season Ends

This is the twelfth part of a 12 part series covering my time spent with a Kansas Whitetail outfitter during his entire bow season.

After four weeks and five groups of hunters, the November bow season has finally come to a close. Although I have to do some networking and check all my hunting sources that are guides, hunters, taxidermists and butchers, I am guessing that 2012 will be one of the worst bow seasons the Midwest has seen in modern times. The warm weather was brutal, and the moon was huge during the last third of the season. Terrible, just terrible.

One of the negative results from such a freak-weathered rut was the lack of overall hunter success. While most hunters were understanding and accepted being humbled by nature, some took it personally. I get that reaction, but that is why it is called ‘hunting’ and not ‘killing.’ 

The absolute worst outcome from this month of bowhunting was the number of deer that were wounded and not recovered. It is always tragic when a deer is not recovered, but it is even more painful when preventable mistakes are the culprit of some lost animals. We as hunters have certain codes of ethics that we mostly live by, and being efficient with our weapons is one of the most basic and important responsibilities we sign up for.

Another closing thought is that there are a lot of good people who hunt. I met people from all over who really made me appreciate them as people and hunters. Our hunting heritage really is in good hands.

On the other hand, I also met some people that I can’t wait to forget. I met two guys from Michigan who were the two most bizarre people I have ever met. Every word out of their mouths was either a fabrication or embellishment. They would slam truck doors near the hunting spots, shine white-lighted flashlights all over the place, talk (loudly) on cell phones, and they texted while hunting prime-time. Then, they would not sit until dark, but sure enough they were surprised when they did not see enough deer.

When one of the two wounded a deer and realized his hunt was over, he repeatedly claimed his shot was at 175-200 yards, when it couldn’t have been more than 80 yards. That is a major disparity. The outfitter was kind enough to work out a financial means to allow the deer-wounder to keep on hunting. This sort of allowance is not common because an outfitter obviously cannot let multiple clients wound deer and continue on hunting. However, sympathy prevailed and an agreement was made and all was well…..for a few hours.

Then, after talking amongst themselves, they decided that the agreement was an insult to him. After all, he proclaimed, he was a repeat client and should be afforded special consideration, not treated like a normal client, outfitter’s rules be damned. Not only did they feign insult and create unneeded drama, but they subtly hinted that physical confrontation was always a moment away.

On top of that, they were instant experts on how the outfitter should hunt his properties, and they were especially opinionated on how the outfitter should conduct his business. In a word, these guys were a ‘nightmare.’ Drama queens disguised as grown men who were above following rules and recommendations, and especially immune to following the contract that they agreed too and signed. I could write a book on these jokers, but I am hoping to scrub their memories from my brain.

If you ever want to study humans as they experience both joy and frustration and solace, go spend a month with a bunch of bowhunters from all over the country.