Adrenaline Shakes

Rocke Fournet Thursday, December 18, 2014 0
Adrenaline Shakes
Matt Byrley with his fine evidence of a worthwhile trip to Kansas.

Matt Byrley with his fine evidence of a worthwhile trip to Kansas.

We are roughly halfway through the various hunting seasons. It’s a good time to catch a break, and maybe even sleep in late one morning. It’s been an A+ first half, with beaucoup “mounted memories” already in the can.

Several Arctic cold fronts have blown through, dropping the temperatures into the frozen zone and making it feel like hunting season. Around these parts, it’s a blessing, if for no other reason than to keep the bugs at bay. Thanks for small favors.

These fronts pushed down big numbers of ducks and geese just in time for Louisiana’s opening weekend. David Landry and his eight-year-old son Seth hooked up with Chris Mire and the trip to Rutherford Beach was on. They have experienced consistently good hunts so far, with a mixed bag of grey ducks, teal, and mallards.

Seth is a little young to handle a shotgun, but still loves to participate in the hunt. He’s an eagle-eyed spotter for incoming birds and joins in calling when the birds are working.

Seth zeroed in on a mature canvasback. The old yellow dog retrieved it and even talked the old man into mounting it. It will serve as a reminder of a most memorable trip Chris Mire was as happy as a pig in slop!

Matt Byrley and crew packed up their bows and headed west to Kansas, the land of giant bucks. They were met with some real harsh winter weather, accompanied with the brutal wind Kansas is famous for.

David Landry and son Seth:  Classic image of a father-son hunt.

David Landry and son Seth:
Classic image of a father-son hunt

Matt suffered in silence through sleet and snow for his chance at a shooter buck. He had several close encounters with marginal bucks he didn’t draw his bow on. The activity did help to warm him some and make the experience bearable. It was just a matter of time.

Finally, a handsome, bowed-up nine-point buck closed the distance, and it was show time. Matt suddenly got warm as he settled his pin on the buck’s sweet spot. After a well-placed shot, the adrenaline shakes took over and racked his body.

With trembling hands, he texted his dad, Jeff, who was perched in a tree not far away. The old man, bad back and all, wouldn’t have missed this trip for the world. He hobbled over to check Matt’s buck and came unglued.

These bucks have massive bodies to match their heavy horns. They’re a sight to behold. Jeff had to be restrained; Matt attempted to calm him with a soothing tone of voice, to no avail.

Jeff began limping around the buck in tight circles, muttering in an unintelligible language only a deer hunter can understand. It made his number one son smile to know that the old man had already punched his ticket for a return trip next year. Let the good times roll!

There remains a lot of hunting left to a season that’s off to a great start.  Another Arctic front approaches, and there are plenty of opportunities left for an adventure of a lifetime.

Whether you score or not, just getting out and enjoying all Mother Nature has to offer is reward enough. Harvesting an animal is pure lagniappe, but sure feels good. Happy hunting and be safe.