Winter Bow Hunting is something that I have always loved to do as a youngster growing up in Califon. The excitement and challenge of hunting for deer in the snow and cold has always had a tremendous allure to me.
However, now at 55 years old and being on blood thinners since the heart attack, I`ve come to the realization that the cold air is not all that easy for me to deal with anymore. Now I`m not complaining, because being cold certainly beats the alternative……. a “dirt nap!” – So for that I am very thankful.
But I had been watching the weather forecast for this past weekend, and it was predicted to be a rather balmy 50 degrees….all weekend. “Perfect”, I thought as I made plans to set up my ground blind on the Land Preserve that I had obtained permission to bow hunt on in Califon. Let me tell you a little bit about that. I contacted the gentleman that oversees all of the Land Trusts throughout New Jersey and left a message on his voicemail asking for permission. To be perfectly honest, I really never thought I`d hear back from him, because they don`t allow hunting up there.
But I was wrong and he called back.
We had a nice conversation and he mentioned something about being in the service and said he had done a little research (I guess with Fish and Wildlife…. not really sure) and that he found out I was retired from the Air Force by the type of hunting license I had. Then I was pleasantly shocked. He said, “Although hunting is not allowed there, I have the authority to make exceptions Ken….and I will send you a letter of authorization to Bow Hunt there for the season today”….”just you alone” – I couldn`t thank him enough and he emailed me the letter that day. I was so thankful for his graciousness.
So getting back to the story, like I said, the sound of fifty degrees in January sounded perfect to me and I needed to get some delicious venison in our freezer. Saturday night I loaded my gear into the truck, so I`d be ready to roll before daybreak on Sunday.
Got up on the hill at 5:45am and set up the blind to hunt out of. It was dead calm, not a breeze and warm. Once I got all set up and comfortable in the dark, like everybody else, I had to grab my phone and announce to the world what I was up too on Facebook. I have to admit something here though…….. see I`m not suppose to drag a deer at all anymore, so I was a little concerned how I could pull this off if I got lucky and actually got a deer. “Well…..let me throw something out there to my Facebook Friends”, I said to myself. So I posted what I was doing and where I was and that I`d appreciate a hand dragging if I got lucky. Well let me tell ya, I can`t tell you how many fellas offered to help me! I got numerous messages saying, “I`m around call me” or “Don`t do it yourself Ken, just tell me where you are and I`ll come”………. I just sat there in the dark, smiled to myself, shook my head and thought, “If a person`s real wealth was measured by his true Friends, then I`m certainly a well-off kinda guy” – and for all of those nice offers, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that messaged me. Really appreciated it.
At about 8am I had a few deer come into the area and I actually got the opportunity to take one. And I swear sometimes I must have an “Angel” that watches over me…… `cause after I shot, the deer ran dead on over the hill and down towards my truck! I couldn`t believe it…….. and after fifteen minutes, I climbed out of the blind and hiked over the hill to where the deer had ran. Lo and behold, she ended up about sixty yards from the truck. Even though it was a short distance, I should`ve called for help as I really need to start being more cognizant of what I do, otherwise I just might end up takin` that “dirt nap” someday.
See the deer on the left and my red truck by the road?
Here`s a little Go PRO video i shot of the day`s adventure up on that hill in Califon;
An usually warm January morning, an excellent place to hunt by myself, plenty of good Friends willing to give a hand and on top of it all, the opportunity to harvest some heart-healthy, delicious venison.
A good morning indeed…… and one to be very Thankful for.