Southern Ohio Hunting Preserve - Elk
Darkness crept in with the silence of Death. Vibrations, the adrenaline pumping, pursing my veins, waking the night, sounds of animal hooves rustling the undergrowth, this is what I love about hunting.
Each breath echoes as it bounces off the sides of the blind, sending new waves of shock into an already tensed situation. The shadows of monsters dance on the surrounding brush as their razor sharp horns pierce the fading light. As quickly as I blink the trophy bull appears in my line of sight. Trying to maintain what was left of my composure I tell myself to wait and let the shot present itself. I stealthily draw the bow not even noticing the resistance being exerted by the string. Hold. Hold. Each moment seems to last a lifetime, I am aware of each hair that is in the sight. Hold. Hold.
The bull taunts me as he quarters away behind a nearby tree. My arm quivers as now the string tension becomes quite noticeable. Hold. Hold. My breathing becomes more rapid and I feel my heart pushing closer to my throat. The approaching darkness is sapping the brilliance of the fiber optic cables in my sight. Locked in, two more steps turn and the arrow vanishes. I hear the broadhead hit the target and immediately see it escape the other side of the animal. This is the scenario I had played continuously in my thoughts, and now in real time I knew the outcome.
My adrenaline was now injected by the arrow into the bull. He sprang from his position and catapulted himself through the thick undergrowth. Had I been mislead by the sights and sounds I had just experienced, doubts immediately led to second guessing. Was I too high? Too low? Was the dull thud a nearby sapling? It was nearly impossible to contain all these emotions within the ever shrinking confines of the blind. I took a deep breath and tried to wipe these ghosts out of my mind. After 15 minutes I shakily rose from the blind. The adrenaline transfer having weakened my legs.
I looked around a bit and discovered a bit of dark-red blood, so I knew the bull was hit.
My eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, and then I entered the present moment, seeing as night creatures see. The trees stand as black, many-armed, wise, though not sentient presences in the blackened forest.
Feeling knackered, I take the photos in my memory and pursue stealthily through the bush. Death has slipped this way before and my premonition on the arrow placement holds true. 100 yards from the blind lay the majestic 6 x 6 bull elk.
Posted on Fri, October 6, 2006
by Alec Janda filed under