Tag Archives: hunting

Camo

What is it with camo-gear? Isn’t it for disguise?

Every once in a while I see children (and sometimes adults) wearing camouflage clothing around town and I have to wonder what they’re hiding from?

Animals have natural camouflage, traits that have evolved  over thousands of years . I can understand that. Man copied the idea and used it during WWl. Okay, if we must have war, camo is smart.

To be properly camouflaged you have to try to blend in with the colours around you. Sand coloured khaki for the desert, dark blue or gray on rocky terrain. But by far the most popular style of camo-clothing is the kind with splotches of olive green, brown, and beige.

In the Viet Nam war, camo-gear was everywhere and has been popular ever since. But has the marketing gone a bit too far? In many cases I have to wonder, what is the purpose of wearing or using camo-gear?

For civilians, there seems to be little reason to wear camouflage.

Two sensible exceptions come to mind:

1)      hikers, who may want to hide so they can see more animals while out on a nature walk, and

2)      hunters, trying to hide from animals they are stalking.

But, for both hikers and hunters, the use of camo-gear can backfire.

Relatives of a lost hiker may report to Search and Rescue that their loved one was last seen wearing camo-clothing. Please search for a large cluster of leaves that isn’t one.

Hunters in camo have the same problem, but they have one advantage. With their excellent disguise, they may be mistaken for a game animal, so for safety, they often sport blaze orange sleeves on their camo-shirt or a bright orange brim on their camo-cap. Now they can be spotted easily if they get lost and at the same time, avoid being shot.

 

But wait! Am I missing something here? What was the point of wearing the camo-clothing in the first place?

Now we come to the rest of the camo-gear. We have all kinds of accessories in camouflage colours: backpack, flashlight, knife, shotgun case, shotgun stock, even the barrel in some cases.

Imagine the scenario: The hunter sets down his gear to take a break, to retie the laces of his camo-boots, or camo-runners, or to have a drink from that camo-flask of water he can’t find just now. He set it down here somewhere….

He checks his camo-watch, decides it’s getting late. He sets his shotgun down on the ground for safety while he climbs carefully over the barbed wire fence. He’ll just hunt this one last field and call it a day. Once on the other side, he adjusts his camo-pack and reaches for his gun. But where is it? Quick! There’s a bunch of pheasants getting up out of the tall grass. Where’s the damn gun? Too late, he finds it perfectly hidden, right in front of his eyes.

Tired out, he comes home at last after tromping incognito through miles of fields. He strips down to his underwear and crawls into bed for a quick late-afternoon nap. What’s this? Camo-underwear? Is he hoping his wife won’t find him in the bed and kick him out to have a shower first?

A Chance Encounter

 

Just a couple of days ago I was saying how hard it is to capture a photo of an owl because they glide by so quietly and swiftly. Before I can get the camera turned on, he’s already gone.

Today I was lucky. Emma was beating the bushes below these trees, hoping to find that pheasant that had left its scent all around, when she scared up the owl (a great horned owl, I believe???). This time, instead of getting out and away, the owl took the time to circle around, possibly to size up the little black English cocker spaniel as a potential meal, and that gave me time to get my camera up and to snap wildly at the general airspace of the owl.DSCN4250ab

It was a WOW moment for me.

Shooting Bucks

One year, my husband went on a fall deer hunting trip. He would be away for a week to ten days. I would keep the “home fires burning” since deer hunting holds absolutely no interest for me.

I would rather make sure they had enough to eat, and maybe steal a little petting time while they were busy eating. In the summer the deer were coming into the yard often, looking for a handout. Since there was nothing except the neighbourhood geraniums to eat,  I supplemented their food a little. These are city deer with no place else to go, so I figured the rules are different about not feeding wildlife. Below is a late summer photo. One buck still has velvet on his antlers, but the one I’m patting on the neck has shed his.

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The fawns felt right at home in the little island of trees below my sundeck, so I put water out for them for those hot days.img686

 

In the fall, the bucks came for their handout often, until it was the start of hunting season. Somehow they knew, and they made fewer appearances like the one below. You can see that the velvet is gone from their antlers.

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 Shortly after that, the bucks disappeared, maybe to chase the does and maybe to evade the hunters.

My husband called me from his hunting camp. “No luck this time. Sorry. You’ll be glad to hear I didn’t shoot a buck this year.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “I shot a nice big one right here in the yard … with my camera.”

And here he is.

visiting buck