Chief of Information & Education, MassWildlife
Ellie reported from the MassWildlife-sponsored Becoming an Outdoors Woman deer hunting seminar held on Sunday, December 6, 2009 in Danvers. Click here for more information about the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program.
At 5 am I am checking in 20 women signed up for a deer hunt and 10 expert deer hunters, men and women who have volunteered to guide and teach.
By 6 am everyone heads into the woods. The first glimmers of light are just appearing. I sit at the base of a large white oak tree overlooking a small valley. Just the sort of area deer would like.
Around 7 am I hear things snapping. Squirrels are collecting acorns. This is a good sign, deer like acorns. Aside from noisy squirrels it is silent.
At 8:30 am a shape appears behind my right shoulder. A big doe is eating acorns about 30 yards behind me. Another doe comes into view. There are noises on the hill. More deer? If I turn, they will run. Maybe they will come around the tree. Deer can hear everything. Can they hear my heart pounding? They are undisturbed by my presence. They move behind the tree and I am ready but they do not emerge, trotting off in another direction.
I wait. They may come back. Later I walk quietly through the woods. It is beautiful, silent. I can hear snowflakes falling.
By 5 pm we all gather for dinner and share our stories. Many deer were seen – none taken. This is hunting. It was a great day in the woods.