From the window of my office, it looks like it could be May or June. Some trees still have lots of leaves, the grass is green, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the temperature is 15 degrees Celsius. Anthony even heard a couple of turkeys gobble yesterday while he was deer hunting. I hear every day from hunters that they wish it would get cold, but I’m sorry guys, I love this weather!
However, the rush is on to go hunting! It’s on in every deer and moose hunter’s mind I’m sure.
Moose is the word I hear most right now: shopping for food, packing clothes, tuning up the quads and sighting in the rifles for the moose hunt.
Could there be anything more important? No, of course there could not be!
The hunt was started last year when the area and camp were chosen. This finally done and agreed upon, the next thing was to set the date. “No we can’t be away for Thanksgiving! But we can leave right after that if necessary”. We must ensure a tag is available. Everyone is reminded to apply for their tags, just in case someone might get a cow or bull tag.
Oh, this is great! One of the group of ten got a bull tag! This is cause for as much excitement as winning a small lottery.
Now important specifics start to be addressed. Who is pulling trailers, and which trailer will each person pull? Who will take the quads and who will take the supply trailer? Who will ride in each truck? Where will we load up? What time will we meet? Will that put us at Parry Sound in time to meet one of the troop who is already part-way north? Then what time will we pick up the ones who live in the north. Of course these stops entail eating, so we need to meet at restaurants, so which restaurants will we choose? Oh, of course, the same ones we always eat at. OK. It is all planned.
Now we count the sleeps till Saturday morning when the loading and leaving takes place. You can feel the excitement in the store as well as at home. All the last minute supplies are being purchased. Spray for clothes so they don’t smell like humans, laundry soaps and dryer sheets so their clothes don’t smell like humans’ clothes, and new, warm blaze orange coats, hats and gloves, etc. so that they look like what they don’t smell like! Batteries for the two way radios. A new scope that is sure to find the target perfectly. Every gun has been cleaned and cases checked for the right ammo. Wow! How would you ever explain this time of year to someone who didn’t know a hunter?
Now it’s the night before leaving and I know several of the non-moose hunters like me will be baking a cake or pie so that these hunters will have desserts following their huge dinners each night. We’ll put in the playing cards in case there is a rainy day and some first aid in case of pinched fingers, etc. Then in the morning we will wish them all the good luck possible, but we know that luck doesn’t have as much to do with the successful hunt as the planning, working on details, shopping, packing, shooting practice and the wonderful care they take of their bows, firearms and accessories.
Now we, the left behinds, wait for the phone call that tells us that we will be eating wonderful meals of moose this winter, and we are so grateful for the bounty of this amazing country we are so fortunate to call home and we look forward to the happy return of our hunters.