As archery deer season approaches, it’s time to get out the hunting gear as well as some of the hunting stories. So I thought I’d post a few of my favorites over the next few days from the hunting days gone by.
One of my best experiences was with a great horned owl. It up on Metamora road at Dodge park #10 in NE Oakland County. I was still going to Oakland University and worked an afternoon shift in the computer lab. There was one day when I didn’t have class, and if I left about 20 minutes before dark from hunting, I could get to work with about 10 minutes to spare.
The night in question it was about 25 minutes to dark when I got a sudden and creepy feeling. Less than a half second later there was this shadow and a silent WOOSH!!!! A great horned owl missed hitting the back of my head literally by less than an inch and had to make a last second flap of his wings that blew the hair on the sides of my head as he barely made it over my hat!
I was way back in the swamp and was using one of my dad’s ultra-simple tree stands. It consisted of nothing more than four foot span of 2×12 with a semi-circular cut out of each end. The idea was to wedge it in the ‘v’ of a tree which was just what I had done.
I have a feeling this particular ‘v’ was part of this owl’s regular route as he seemed as surprised as me due the fact he had to correct at the last second and he couldn’t quite seem to sort out what was wrong. Mind you, this ‘v’ of tree trunks actually consisted of ‘3’ main trunks. The two I was between and the third about 8′ in front of me at a height of about 6′ off the ground. The owl landed on that other branch just a few feet from me. So here I am in full camo including face paint, 6′ from a huge great horned owl. I didn’t want to move it was so awesome to be that close.
He could still sense something was up and could obviously tell something was there in front of him (me) but hadn’t yet made out just what I was.
It took everything in me not to move, not to breath too deep, not to even blink. It felt like about ten minutes but was probably only a minute and a half before my eyes were screaming to blink. I started thinking non-stop “either turn your head or blink. turn your head or blink!”
Now let me make something clear right now, never get in a staring contest with an owl. THOSE FUCKERS CHEAT!
After sitting there that long, my eyes now on fire. And wouldn’t you know it, that little bastard first closes one eye, then the other. Inside I was screaming ‘YOU FUCKING BASTARD, YOU GOD DAMN CHEATING BASTARD!!!’ Outside I was fighting to keep from breaking out laughing.
I eventually had to break down and blink which of course grabbed his focus. He only stayed about another 20 seconds then before flying off.
I ended up getting to work just in time to start, but was still in full camo including face paint. And was still hopped up on adrenaline even after the 25 minute ride. Although people were at first a bit shocked to see me donned in full camo regalia, they were soon riveted to my telling of the experience for the first time.