After The Hunters’ Have Gone

 

A Cow Elk Caught On A Game Camera During The Archery Season In Western Colorado.

Thirsting For Water At the End Of The Trail. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

You can feel them waiting, the elk…patiently, longingly, for the rapidly approaching darkness that signals an end to an impossibly hot, late summer day in the drylands of the west.

For there are eyes, and life, on the trail, which just minutes before offered nothing up but sun baked sand and rocks that might permanently sear the touch of a human hand.

They do not wait for the hunter to return to the comfort of camp, or home. In the deserts of everywhere the hunter of game may be the least of their worries, and the herd is driven by much more basic needs. Extreme heat has a way of focusing the body and being and the inner workings of every last cell down to one vital and all encompassing purpose.

To live…

For one more second…and one more day. One more sunrise, and moonrise, and another life sustaining gulp of water. This too, this murderous furnace, shall pass.

In the mean time, just what can a  bowhunter do when the air that slams your lungs hovers near 100 degrees? The answer is simple, though not always obvious. Things will change, as surely as the earth continues it’s orbit away from the sun. Until then, one can only do what a bowhunter does best.

Wait… Listen… Learn…Plan…

Slink to the shade, like all wild things must. Hunt when you can. Head for water, when it’s time.

And live…

 

Two Mature Bull Elk Head Down A Game Trail Towards Water In the Early Evening During A Colorado Bowhunt. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

Darkness Visible. Photo By Michael Patrick McCarty

 

By Michael Patrick McCarty

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