Buck Fever and other Hunting Related Ailments.

Just like a tennis player gets tennis elbow, or a runner can fall prey to shin splints, we in the outdoors sport of hunting can fall prey to our own little ailments too.

One of those ailments is known as buck fever and don’t let anyone fool you. Any hunter who ever lived has been bitten with a case of it from time to time, particularly when first starting out.

I certainly recall my own.
I was 16 years old,  mom and dad both hunted and I was going to be the first girl I knew to carry on the tradition that in those days, wasn’t necessarily encouraged..  teenage girls carrying rifles and wearing camo gear.

I will, so long as I live never forget the opening day of my first season.

Wandering out across the snowy fields, hip deep in snow in northwestern Pennsylvania, my gun aimed down, unloaded til I made it to my ground blind, I never saw the fence that tripped me up, driving the gun into the ground and into the snow..  arriving at the ground blind to clear out the gun, make sure it was clear and dry, dealing carefully with all the safety issues was the only time I wasn’t completely breathless.
I knew the score of course.. I’d skinned and dressed deer since I was big enough to hold a knife and I just KNEW I was going to get that shot off clean and bring home the venison.

Glancing up after finishing my gun cleaning, a deer I hadn’t even seen approach had stopped, and turned nicely broadside for me no more than ten yards away.

To ask for an easier cleaner shot in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods would have been near to impossible but for the life of me I couldn’t bring that rifle up and shoot.
The cold air was rife with the evidence of my panting breathing and I could barely see for the fog I was producing..

Eventually I did shoot, when the buck had wandered, happily, still unaware of my existence, another forty feet away, and gotten to the edge of what I found out later was a small ravine about twelve feet deep.
I hit him nicely still, but the extra push of the bullet of course took him down INTO the ravine and I got to drag him up out of it..  the moral of the story being, don’t hesitate..
That was my first experience with the case of extreme excitement that the experienced hunter calls Buck Fever.
To be honest, it was not my last.

Whether hunting with a gun or a camera, we all see things once in a while that take our breath away. We learn to control it and react better, but anyone who tells you they don’t experience that extreme case of high tension just isn’t being honest.

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