People in hunting party need to trust each other
The biggest concern before a hunt is always the possibility of a major injury. Party hunting -- a group of hunters walking through the woods toward people on stand -- is inherently dangerous. There is always the possibility of the blockers shooti...
The biggest concern before a hunt is always the possibility of a major injury.
Party hunting -- a group of hunters walking through the woods toward people on stand -- is inherently dangerous. There is always the possibility of the blockers shooting toward and unseen driver and vice versa.
We discuss safety issues and have a large amount of trust in each other. We try to keep track of where other hunters are and where they will be. This method of hunting has its risks, but knowing each other well and hunting the same way each year has prevented any major problems. We have hunted, pretty much with the same group, for over 20 years. Normal things, such as cuts, bruises, and an occasional broken bone are to be expected, but so far, nobody has had to be hospitalized, at least for an extended period of time.
Over the years, there have been a few close calls and not all of them were my fault. This year, Amanda was standing at the edge of a rather steep ditch when she turned and fired at a rapidly departing deer. It is always good to have one's feet well under themselves when shooting, especially if one only weighs about a hundred pounds and is shooting a 12-gauge.
Being somewhat off balance, the recoil sent her over the edge of the ditch as her shotgun ejected its last shell. After she climbed out of the ditch, it took quite a while to get the mud and leaves out of her barrel and action. Fortunately, the deer had long since left the area since neither she nor the gun were ready for another shot. Nothing was hurt but her pride and we all enjoyed giving her a hard time about the full body mud stain.
Few people have been known to drown while deer hunting, but a couple of us came close to it. On a slippery side hill, a four- wheel drive truck does not always go where willed. I was driving Mike's truck, since I had injured my leg in an unfortunate fall the day before and was unable to walk. Rob had knee surgery the week before deer season opened so he got to sit up front with me. The rest of the hunting party was in the back of the truck for the ride to the cabin for lunch when the truck started sliding sideways, toward the lake. We were a fair distance from the water so I accelerated, just a bit, hoping to regain traction.
I noticed people jumping out of the back, first one at a time, then by twos. I thought, "They can walk if they do not like my driving."
Acceleration increased our forward progression, but also seemed to increase the rate at which we slipped sideways. Rob was on the downhill side and seemed to be trying to get out of my window, long leg cast and all. This made driving difficult, so I put on the brakes, assuming the truck would stop. We were no longer going forward, but we continued to slide, ever so slowly, closer to the lake. I decided to get out of the truck before Rob injured one of us in his determination to exit my side of the truck.
The truck stopped when the right side tires sank into the mud and sand at the water's edge. Nobody drowned or even had a major injury. Nobody would have been injured at all if they would not have tried to jump out of a moving truck. They should have had enough trust in me not to drive all the way into the lake.
Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.