It was William’s first hunt. William’s cousin gave him his old compound bow, and he’s been practising all year with it. He got his hunting license and our friend Kevin took us with him to try to bag a couple of deer. It’s difficult at best, and we didn’t get anything with the bows, but we certainly didn’t have any lack of wildlife. I’ll have to brag that I shot more animals than they did – but just with the camera.

The morning was just beautiful. We had to leave Calgary at 5am to be set up by sunrise. We sat near the edge of a pond by a stand of trees, waiting for some trace of deer. A large coyote wandered at the far edge, eyeing some of the nearby ducks. After it was obvious that we weren’t going to see anything, we switched tactics.

My job was to flush out the deer, while William and Kevin sat in ambush. So I saw a lot of deer, but mostly the back-end. In one coulee, I got a buck and a couple of does on the move. The does were up and out right away. I was exccited that the buck got started in the right direction, but just within sight of the ambush he promptly left the coulee.
Since it was my job to be noisy (and that wasn’t hard for me), I got to see a few more animals and birds. Crashing through the brush and forest of the coulees, I also came across owls and moose. Some deer I never saw. William reported one that ran within 30 metres of him, but was travelling too fast for him to shoot. A few others ran above them at the top of the coulee.
For the most part, I enjoyed the wooded coulee bottom. It was shaded and fresh, but thick. A lot of the crashing though, was me, slipping and falling on the narrow deer paths on the soft soil of the coulee walls. I was regularly traversing the stream that ran along the bottom, once sinking a bit in the mud, and another time slipping a foot in the water when I failed to negotiate a tangle of branches. The deer certainly have an advantage in the narrow labyrinth they weave. It didn’t help that I had to do all I could to protect the camera during all the adventure.

BowHunt_0027The fall colour was amazing. The white stubble of harvested canola and wheat fields, mixed with the variety of brush and trees, all exploding in yellows and reds was just breathtaking. We spent the evening just relaxing under cover while waiting for the deer to come out to feed. It was peaceful enough that at one point, I fell asleep. William had gone further down into a draw and also fell asleep. He woke up and looked at some tracks to see that a moose had passed within a few feet of him while he slept. ¬† We stayed until sunset and picked our way back to the truck. ¬†Although empty-handed this time, we certainly didn’t think it was a wasted trip.

The rest of the photos are here. BowHunt_0064

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