Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2021 | Week 37/52 | SummerSep 06, 2021
Field notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2021 | Week 37 of 52
Day 1: Archery Deer Hunt
I set my alarm for O Dark 30. Archery season is now open and the time has come. I’m hunting for Blacktail.
Evening prep involved switching out my field tips for broadheads on the arrows. Packing gear. Making nourishing food. Meditation. I do not have experience in traditional rituals to prepare for a hunt…But I felt instinctively that this would help ground me and offer reverence and recognition for the experience ahead.
It’s 5 am and I’m hiking through dense forest on a steep incline with my headlamp. I’m carrying my bow and quiver and working my way to the blind that was set-up two weeks
After 3 hours of sitting in silence in the camouflaged structure, I packed up and decided to “spot and stalk”, a term in hunting that refers to studying the habitat to find clues of the animal. Where they are bedding down, plants they are eating, following tracks, etc…Through “glassing”, using binoculars from a high vantage point, the idea is to find the animal and create a strategic approach to take an ethical shot.
I did not find a deer, although the experience was epic on many levels. I engaged the wilderness like I never have before while covering 7 miles of terrain…it took an entire day. Walking was slow and methodical as I observed as much as my brain had the capacity to do. I witnessed beautiful landscapes, a porcupine hiding from me, animal tracks and of course there is nothing like watching a sunrise and sunset. I walked upon the feather of a red-tailed hawk and was thrilled to touch it and observe its unique pattern and beauty. I felt that somehow this was a gift for me to find. A welcoming from nature and Gaia herself. Maybe she sees me and smiles at my my efforts as I explore this primordial path.
Every muscle is sore today…My mind was also stretched and energy depleted. I feel however a deep sense of purpose and gratitude. Luckily I’m hunting close to home and can enter the field again when I’m ready