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It’s a Cold Day for Hunting

The thermostat read 19 degrees at 5:00 this morning. For a “transplant” Floridian, that is really really cold. The coldest it’s been so far this winter. Did I mention this is Florida we are talking about? Just last week I was wearing shorts for goodness sakes. But the cold this morning is the kind of cold that makes you want to snuggle deeper into your thick, soft comforter hoping that the cocoon you’ve made will hold all the warmth inside. It makes you want to grab a mug, break out the hot chocolate and marshmallows and hunker down underneath your afghan with a good book.

Alas, I did none of those things. I may tomorrow morning, but that is another story for another day. This morning my hubby and I decided to go hunting. And since it’s best to be out and settled in the woods before daylight, we were up and at em’ and walking into where the ground blind was located by 6:30 am. Unfortunately I have no idea what the temperature was at that time, but I can’t imagine it being much more than 19 degrees. At least it didn’t feel like it to me.

So how does one guard against such cold weather when you are going to be sitting outside for the better part of the morning? Layers, layers, layers. Solid shoes and socks, one pair of pants with a pair of sweat pants over them. Next is the long sleeve shirt, followed by the short-sleeve shirt, the sweatshirt and finally, the fleece jacket. Can’t forget the baklava, knit cap and gloves. Even after all that, the slight wind and chill in the air gets through all those layers to make you shiver. To further guard against the biting cold since all the layers above still aren’t enough, a camouflage sleeping back is opened up so that it can be spread across our legs to help keep some of the warmth inside.

One would think that I would be roasting by now with all the layers I was wearing but I was still as cold as could be. I think being stagnant, sitting in the same place for an extended period of time is what did it for me. If I am moving around, I am much warmer that way.

Chilliness aside, it was a beautiful morning. There is nothing more peaceful than being out in the woods when it is dark and all is quiet. Then hearing nature wake up around you as the sun comes up. Rays from the sun filter through the trees casting a soft glow across the ground as the birds begin to chirp their morning songs. And although we were hunting and the goal was obviously to obtain some meat (turkey or venison) to take home, I was just happy to be out on this crisp, cold morning.

Alas, we didn’t see anything this morning other than the squirrels, birds and our own breath as it puffed in and out. Not wanting to give up, we took a break for lunch before heading back out to sit. We started sitting around two this afternoon and again we dressed for the cold but it wasn’t quite as bad as it was at 7am. And do you know what the best part of hunting on a cold day like today? No mosquitos!

We sat all afternoon and just as I was ready to throw in the towel, a flock of wild hens walked in. The were absolutely beautiful, however, they didn’t hang out to long. I didn’t shoot any of these as it is against regulation and honestly, I was just excited that I got to see them. I distinctly remember telling my husband that I didn’t even need to shoot a turkey now, it was just enough having gotten to see them.

As usual, he told me to patient and wait and see what else comes in. I never did see any deer today but just before dark, a flock of toms (male turkey) came barreling into view. When the shot presented itself, I took it.

My first ever turkey, shot with a crossbow. It may be a cold day for hunting to some, but it was the perfect day for hunting to me.


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