The season opener was heralded in by a merciful end to the incessant heat of this very unusual summer. Its starting to feel like fall. After weeks of scouting hunting grounds in the Scappoose unit, we were ready to slip into the dark woods and see if we could set onto some bulls enjoying the changing seasons.
The Moon was full and the sky was clear. You almost don’t need a headlamp to navigate along the path. As we reached our spot, a gentle wind was in our face, bringing the sweet smell of grass and timber. Somewhere, far in the distance, coyotes were howling at the moon as it slowly sank behind us and a rosy glow was starting to grow in the east.
Down past the clear-cut below us in a thick stand of pine, there was an unmistakable pop of sticks that only be an Elk. A few cow calls could be heard followed by a quiet Bugle of a bull elk. Your pulse quickens and, as the sun slowly rises, you reach that eerie predawn light that makes every stump, shrub or brush pile look like it just might be that next monster bull.
This is the magic of hunting, this is why we practice all summer. Weather we’re successful that day or not, we still drag ourselves out of bed at zero-dark-thirty. Hike in on pitch black trails and sit in predawn forests until shooting light. There is no stress from work or family, no bills that have to be paid, only you and this beautiful land we are blessed with.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the season is here– Your season is here. Good luck, and happy hunting.
Columbia County Chapter, OHA