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The main week for Ohio’s deer gun season has come and gone, and like years past, I’m grateful for another safe, mostly enjoyable hunt.

Deer gun season started Nov. 28 and the first two days, in my opinion, were miserable. It rained most of both days and the strong winds just added to the issue.

Because open season only comes around once a year, I still ventured outdoors and well before sunrise. But it didn’t take long for those little droplets of rain and drizzle to add up and I quickly found myself soaked and cold.

Puddles and wet feet

My hunting coat eventually absorbed water, and so did my blue jeans and my outdated hunting boots. I kept thinking all day that the rain would eventually break, but it never really did. And on Tuesday, it was back again with more vengeance.

I drove home around noon on both days to dry out my clothes in the clothes dryer, and on the second day I was so tired of having wet feet that I went to the local sports shop and bought a pair of Rocky waterproof hunting boots. It’s one of the most popular brand of boots for hunters, but you generally won’t find a good pair for less than $100. That’s why up until this year, I’ve relied on some mediocre brands. But when you reach your last wit, sometimes you have to give in.

Big difference

On Wednesday and the rest of the week, I was very glad I “gave in,” because my feet stayed warm and dry and I found myself enjoying the benefits of good footing on slippery and muddy terrain.

I also shot a nice doe about twenty minutes after I put the new boots on, so maybe they bring good luck, too. I usually don’t like to shoot does but since I’m hunting for food to put in my freezer, I prefer the doe meat over an old, gamey-tasting buck.

I hunted with four other people most of the week, and altogether we took two bucks and three does. One of the does was shot by a lady in our group who, later the same day, learned that her job of 25 years was closing and moving out of town. Like me, she hunts mostly for food and she also has a young son who she is still raising.

Perfect timing

And, on Wednesday, we drove a 10-point buck to my dad. He’s worked for the same company that’s closing for at least the last 30 years and was noticeably depressed about the whole situation and the thought of being unemployed.

He was so discouraged I had to remind him to even load his gun when we got out of the truck.

Fortunately, he listened and managed to respond to the buck and place his shots well. It was the largest deer he’s ever shot, and it probably came at one of the most opportune times.

To me, those are the best experiences of hunting, even if you have to work through rain and mud to enjoy them. I look forward to better weather in future hunting seasons, but sometimes you have to tough it out.

The people in my hunting party put a lot of time, energy and money into hunting this year, as we seem to do every year. But the experience and the memories are worthwhile.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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