The beginning is, obviously, not the beginning. I have been hiking, fishing, camping, and doing some hunting for years now, but, because of two events this week, I feel like I am on the beginning of a new journey.
I have always wanted to get into big game hunting, but never really knew how to approach everything. The first event was this last weekend: I took a Hunter Education class, earned the hunters safety card, and can now buy a hunting license. Everything I’ve hunted up to now has not needed a hunting license (coyote, hogs, jackrabbits, etc.)
The second event was getting my first archery kill. I bought a used compound bow a couple weeks ago and have been practicing with my buddy Matt nearly every day since then. (Matt has been an excellent and patient mentor.) The area where we shoot has a lot of jackrabbits in the surrounding hills. One rabbit, a large male, came within range and I managed to get a hit. He didn’t leave much of a blood trail and tracking him was very difficult, but eventually I managed to find him. The rabbit is now in my freezer and his hide is drying in the back yard. The meat will be made into sausage and the fur will be used for fly tying material. Taking a jackrabbit with an arrow at twenty yards will not seem like a great feat to any experienced bowhunter, but it means a lot to me.
I believe hunting is an integral part of being an outdoorsman, and I am very excited to learn more and grow as both a hunter and a woodsman.