Antlers and Gills, eh? Lately, I have had to ask myself where are the antlers?! Normally this time of year, Dus and I have perused countless trail-cam photos, bought several trophy rocks, scouted night after night, and on September 15th I lose Dustin to the woods. Rain, shine, sleet, snow – he would go out no matter what. Dustin’s anticipation for deer season was contagious; I began to get as excited as he did. I made him a hunting journal, went out and sat in the blind with him, helped hang stands, etc etc. Fall and early winter were always times of great anticipation. This year, all of that is missing, and well, to be frank, it just doesn’t feel right.
Hunting season opened here in CO a few weeks ago, but you would never know it in our house. The totes full of hunting gear remain in the attic, the bow untouched and the Dead Down Wind sits dusty on the shelf. There has been no murmur of hunting until the other day when Dustin finally went in to chat with DOW. Instead of coming home eager about new hunting opportunities (he can hunt so many species here!) he comes home with this gem. “For season 3 this area is home to a lot of elk, but I don’t want to be this close to Glenwood Springs and hunt, I would want to fish.” HA. I think his conversion from bowhunter to fisherman is almost complete. I could not believe the words came out of his mouth. Of course I agree with his opinion. No way am I driving all the way to Glenwood to go chase elk; if I drive to Glenwood I am hitting up all that gold medal water!
Now, it is not just the fishing that factors into this equation. Dustin isn’t sure he even wants to hunt elk. Change, well he doesn’t do it well, and elk hunting is a HUGE change from hunting whitetail. Not to mention, we will have to quarter and pack out the animal who knows how many miles. They are also bigger and bloodier than a whitetail, another item he isn’t thrilled with. Then there is gear – we have to buy a whole slew of new gear.
As it stands now, he plans to go back to MO for a few hunts. I hope he can get a couple of does for us, and we can spend this winter, spring and summer contemplating CO hunting options. After all, this is ANTLERS and gills. This fall and winter, I do believe we will disappoint, as the boy mostly will just be a fisherman. While the deer at home would tremble in their hooves when Dustin climbed into his stand, the elk and mulies here in CO might just come up and give him a kiss.