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By Billy Harris

Well its friggin cold up here in Canada, after 2 colds a brush with death and a winter flu that put me on my keester for 2 days I decided that the deer hunt was all I needed to make an excuse and give paddling a rest for 2 weeks. The wife is killing me, my body is broken, I have been doing plyo…horrible. Something that is to make me faster and stronger. It’s making me want painkillers and a message therapist. Combine that with the fact that my face goes so numb when I am boating and I can’t talk or feel it means I need a break. What does a REDNECK boat do… the only thing he can… SHOT THINGS, or so I thought

My God brother Gavin was coming down from Pickanckum about a forever’s drive past Thunder Bay by plane about 4 hours north. He drove down for the deer hunt and the good old boys hit the road for a week hunting Bambi. To make a long story short we shot nothing. We had deer stinky stuff, sharp sights, cammo coming out our ying Yang’s, tree blinds ground blinds, deer farting things and we got nothing. People don’t know how smart the deer are up here in Canada. Hunting deer here is really tough, 2 days into the hunt the deer go nocturnal that is the only eat at night and don’t move during the day. We know this because the spot we hunt at we leave a camera, the infrared senses movement and shoot photos while we are gone. Yes we did try to rig it up with the gun… It didn’t’ work. The first night we left a camera at our watch and there were 52 photos of deer. Not a nice buck but like 20 of them…. It was the second night that got interesting… You see, along with deer are Turkeys and the camera shot about 100 of them before killing the Batteries and getting no deer at all. 100 photos of stupid but real live Turkeys, and by the hundreds. I was sitting in my ground blind the next evening, Cross bow in hand thinking that I could be at home kayaking and cold instead of waiting in the woods and cold when I thought Bamb was coming to knock on old billys door. When out of the blue, not one but 50+ turkeys come too bed down for the night. They walk in on me, and see me all of a sudden. They all run off gobbling like a pack of 80 year olds at a Euchre tournament. The come back in, do the same thing again……… 3 X later the decide ok, the big turkey isn’t moving at all we need another plan. They Fly in. NOW it’s on. If they told me, that if I didn’t move they would fly in I would have got the heck out of there. I had no idea how bad turkeys were in the air, let alone trying to land on broken branches. The first one comes in hot and its got Japanese wounded fighter all over it and hits at least 1 tree and a dozen branches before it hits the ground at my feet gobbling. Then the Other 50 come in, I have heard of cats and dogs but Raining Turkeys was an event all in itself. The sound of feathers dragging down tree trunks, turkeys hanging in bat like positions from branches still makes me laugh. Feathers floating everywhere and the gobbling combined with the squawking. It was madness; there wasn’t a smart deer within a mile of that darn roost or me and for good reason. It’s now called Kamikaze watch, and we don’t go there anymore for fear of being bombed again. After a week of humiliation, Does dancing heel and toe in front of me all week long I went home tail between my legs ego deflated. (I swear the MNR calls them and tells them where the dude is that can’t shoot a doe hunts just so they can come out and torture me. The other conspiracy theory is, “bucks can see Blaze Orange” By law all hunters must wear the color. So we don’t go shooting each other, generally a good call. Canada has its share of Yahoo’s too)

I come back home, Carly asks the same genuine but silly question, and “did you catch one”. Same answer, “No Carly but I am getting faster.” Carly, “hooray for the deer”. It’s depressing for me really. I can only hope that my buddy Jay Kincaid don’t read this and email me something horrible like him with a prize buck or something. For the last week I have been hunting a big Male, about 240lbs, monster rack all twisted but way cool. It’s actually a local legend, and I just know where he lives. But he’s on to me. I zig he zags, I am one end of the bush he is at the other. I find out where he feeds and stand there, so he waits till dark and then comes out to feed just out of reach of the boom stick. One night I almost got trampled by him and let the Cannon loose to no avail. The next morning I come back and he tore up my ground blind. Actually ruined it, it was his prints too no mistake. Now I am sure people don’t believe me my I paided good money for that blind and its ruined. Huge holes all over the one panel. So needless to say it’s day 7 and he’s winning. I see him every night and every night I zig and he zags. I have been lying in leaves, grass, hiding in trees, even did a commando crawl across a field in the rain just to sneak up on his 3 wives. Where was he, you guessed it. Other end of the field. It’s beginning to get personal.
I jumped back in my boat today. I long for a warm place to paddle. Still can’t feel my nose .

Wherever you are paddling in the world live it up. I love hunting but would kill YOU to paddle someplace warm right now.

Billy Harris, On a mission