It seems to me that sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, irrational efforts and hunting/fishing go hand in hand. The pursuit of an elusivespot, un-populated destinations, or the regular run of the mill super secret honey hole has some of us performing acts of utter insanity to stake our claims. I know Robert and I can’t be the only ones who participate in drastic measures just so we can say, “we didn’t see a soul all weekend.”
For example: There’s the short version and the long version of how we get to our super secret– if I told you my Husband would commit acts of violence he’s never considered before–antelope spot.
The short G-rated version. We leave the house, hours or so later we get there and poof, the next morning we’re hunting.
The long R-rated version and if you figure out our spot from this I simply cannot be held accountable in a court of hunting law. We leave the house, drive on pavement for 2 1/2 hours, then we turn right and drive the truck on a marginal dirt road for another hour or so. Next, we get to this one spot by some big rocks (hint, one rock is blackish) and abandon the air conditioning for open air and 4-wheeler only dirt road driving.
This is where it gets really fun. Truly.
The next 2 1/2 hours, or 39ish miles is spent keeping over loaded 4-wheelers from toppling over and sliding off the road from the over abundance of slate rocks on said ‘dirt’ road. In fact, as I write this I think it should be renamed to Slate Rock Road with jutting buried boulders of Un-ending Hell. There, now that’s more fitting.
It’s the sort of pretend road that wrecks havoc on your wrists, back and legs. You can not sit at any time during the journey lest you sacrifice your ass to the rock gods. It’s too rocky, too bumpy, too jagged and too unpredictable to let your guard down for a second. Standing up is smart ass protection and collision avoidance. The rocks like to reach out and grab your tires constantly and yank the handle bars one way or another. A loose grip is the only way to protect your wrists but even that cautionary stance allows for occasional handle bar impaling into the stomach. I’ve tested out various rates of speed while making that trek, and it seems no matter what the speedometer says, it plain sucks.
If we make it to the end of that long sadistic trek in one piece and the sad soul who unluckily drove in the back hasn’t passed out from dirt cloud inhalation, we abandon the 4-wheelers. Then we must hike 2 miles balancing essential hunting gear on our backs, over sagebrush, dry riverbeds, and lava fields that intentionally try to break your ankle with every stride. The only thing missing is the lions, tigers and bears oh my….however, the blazing sun makes up for the lack of Oz animals.
The good news is by the time everything is finally set up, the sun is setting and the only thing left to do is wait for the crack of dawn….I no longer care that baby frogs want to use the blind for their new home and snakes are slithering in for a snack. By that point I’m immune to just about everything the desert could throw at me. I’ll call that immunity by sheer insane exhaustion.
It is for those reasons I’ve shocked my husband on opening Antelope season by refusing to shoot the first Antelope that came into the watering hole 8 minutes past the legal minute. As we whispered frantically back and forth deciding if the buck was worth it, I finally put my bow down and said, ” I didn’t travel to hell for 8 minutes of hunting time. Non-negotiable.”
And a few hours later I got my buck.
So, is the insanity worth it? Other rational hunters must go to such lengths out there, right?? I do know this, that in that moment, when I let an arrow fly, it definitely was for me!