Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Different Backdrop

I didn't think I would be back in PA for another hunting season. But here I am. First one in a few years.

Things have changed a little bit since 2009. There was the whole natural gas boom/bust. Thanks to that there's now a giant drilling pad in the middle of the 20+ acre windrow field to the west of my house. Unexpectedly, this has actually been a really good thing, because it forces the deer to stay between its 15ft. earth walls and the pine forest––meaning that they get seen by me––not the trespassers who inevitably end up on Saxons Knob, across the road. 

There are also more deer than there were in 2009. There aren't quite as many as when I was a kid, nor are they quite as big. Still, there are many more than there have been in the recent past. My brother and I have already had several fairly good opportunities to shoot, even if they haven't been prizes.

And there's the other thing that's changed. I had hunted with my brother one year before I went to Tennessee, but it's a lot different now. He has more experience, and I feel like we work as much more of a team. Oddly, I think some of this is because of how much we play video games together. It's pretty weird, but it's almost the same––only we aren't getting shot at. 

So between my brother, the expanded deer population, and the new gas pad, I feel a lot more hopeful about this hunting season that I can ever remember feeling in the past.

I also feel like there's probably probably something problematic about using a drilling pad with tanks and a pipeline containing thousands of cubic meters of explosive pressurized natural gas as a backdrop/blind while you're shooting high-velocity rifles. That sounds bad, but somehow it doesn't seem at all scary when I'm actually doing it.

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