As I write this it is the middle of the general deer season in my part of the country. I have opined some on this before, but apparently it isn’t sinking in. Hunters need to be patient! Unlike the television shows where a deer or two gets killed in very 22-minute episode, real deer hunting often takes days to be successful.

Since last Thursday I have spent every morning and evening in a ground blind overlooking the river at the back of my place. Across the river from me is a piece of private property that is enrolled in Wyoming’s Walk-In Hunter Access Program—a great thing that allows unattached hunters access to private land. As I sit in my blind I see salmon eggs—what I call the orange hats and vests worn by hunters—topping the ridge. Most look around and/or glass for less than 3 minutes, then move on. Some march down toward the river noisily, ushering deer ahead of them. Once in a great while I’ll see a hunter quietly work his way down to a good overlook and sit for an hour or two.

In the meantime I’ve been seeing somewhere between a half dozen to 10 deer at each sitting. About half are on my side of the river. If the area gets disturbed—either by a hunter who makes the walk all the way to the river overlook or my dogs and me relatively quietly getting into the blind—it takes at least 20 minutes before a deer shows itself.

So if you are out looking for some venison for the freezer, slow down, sit down, be quiet and look the country over for at least an hour.

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