Ohio Chapter Of
The Coalition of Historical Trekkers
Fall Hunt, October 2000
One hunterís perspectiveÖÖÖ.
The day started out late for me. To begin with I worked my usual shift on Friday, which placed me leaving Columbus at 9 am. As in all things planned, it didnít work that way. I finally got to leave for the hunt at noon.
Because of some problems with the site, the event was moved to Crooksville. This worked out great for me since it is half the distance from Columbus.
After following the map and directions Linda had e-mailed me the day before. I got there without a hitch, well after lunchtime. I walked to the edge of the woods. There I could hear an occasional shot from the valley below. Each report seemed to be coming from the same position.
I hollered down to them below to let them know I was there. I could hear Lindaís voice greet me in reply. I walked back to the truck to gather my belongings. After a short while two girls made their way up through the woods. They waited a moment for me, and then when they were sure I was following, headed back into the woods.
There, I found a group of fellow hunters a couple I recognized from other events. I only knew two, Frank and Linda. All the trekkers greeted me and introduced themselves one by one. I did get to know some of their names through the evening. They struck me right off as a fine group of people. I listened and watched. We were shooting at some objects placed at different distances for a small contest. I loved it.
Linda had mentioned that they might have a small shoot, so I came prepared with a blanket prize. I retrieved it and my equipment from the vehicle, after the shooting had completed. After seeing some of the items on the blanket for prizes, I felt sad that I didnít have anything hand made to contribute. I had brought a pound can of powder, a string of brass beads I had just bought at the Eastern rendezvous, and a section of light wool I had purchased to make a shirt. After 5 years of wearing braded artificial sinew as legging ties, I chose a pair of ties with a strip of quillwork on them. They are pretty.
Needless to say, I had arrived to late for the hunt. That was ok though. With the late start from work for the day, I had not yet eaten. I set out my things, made my bedding area for the night, and started to prepare some food. One of the fellows brought over some fine venison stew. It was great. I ate most of what was left, and then stirred my succotash and turkey chowder*, which was heating by the fire. Later, we had a roast that was prepared in a Dutch oven. I did not partake of any until much later as I was still rather full from the stew and the succotash.
We spent the evening around the campfire enjoying each otherís company, and discussing different ways of preparing foodstuffs, clothing, accouterments, and many other subjects. After a while, we were all getting quite tired and decided to turn in.
During the night, the dogs on the hillside across from us began to carry on. Then some dogs closer joined in. They sounded very frantic to get at whatever was disturbing them. I thought that it might be some deer as I had only heard dogs bark in that tone before under those circumstances. I got up to place another log on the fire in case it got as cold as the weatherman had reported. A few minutes later I could hear footfalls through the leaves crossing the valley and coming up towards camp. They diverted further off after a bit and though I could not see them, it sounded like three deer.
I turned back into my blanket roll for the night and listened to an owl further off call to any who may hear. I thought this is the way it should be, and drifted back to sleep.
Though I had backpacked in high school and college with modern equipment, I had only started using traditional gear to do the same about five years ago. I had never before been a camp with other similarly minded and clothed hunters. Previously, I have only gone out like this solo. I must say that my first group camp experience was wonderful. After working the previous 36 hours, I appreciated the fact that we were close to the vehicles. I would have gladly walked in further if needed, but in my state of fatigue that day, I was glad I didnít have to.
As we started to break camp, I finished up my succotash from the night before. Before turning in the night before, I had added enough water so it would not dry out, and placed some more Scottish oatmeal in to thicken, and give me a good brunch before leaving in the morning. This I placed at the fire far enough away to keep warm, but not burn. If it is possible, it tasted even better than the night before.
I have met new friends on this trip. I hope to share many more camps with them. And I hope to learn much more from them in the years to come. The most significant item I learned how to do is to make my own bowstring. I went home and made a short one a couple of days later so I would remember how to do it. It worked great. I will now make a new string for both my bow, and my motherís Seneca bow.
*Dried: corn, peas, lima beans, green peppers, Scottish oatmeal, diced turkey jerky, spices to taste including salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, muscovado sugar, water to cover twice.
Darylee C. Potter