All posts by Rob Darnell

A Big Deer

I woke up at 5:20 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about the deer I saw yesterday. At 5:45, I was still awake and since my alarm would be going off in fifteen minutes, I decided to get my ass out of bed and blog this thing.

Yesterday, I made it over to mom and dad’s house earlier than usual. This gave me four and a half hours in The Bat Shack. It was a gray day, with rain here and there. The rain was mostly light, but for about thirty minutes, it rained pretty hard.

While the hard rain was coming down, I was thinking about some article I read a year or two ago. The article said something about how a good time to hunt is after a hard rain, because the deer will come out when it stops. I don’t know how true that is. I’ve seen so many theories over the years and I no longer know what’s true and what’s not.

When the rain finally stopped, a deer walked into my view.

This deer was massive. Last year, the trail cam picked up a six-point buck that looked well-built. But the deer I saw yesterday made that six-point buck look puny. The deer from yesterday was built like a bull.

I think it was a buck, but I’m not positive. My poor eyesight combined with the immediate background made it hard to tell if those were antlers on its head or tree branches behind it. I needed the deer to go farther into the clearing, and then I would’ve been able to see if it had a rack or not.

But it didn’t go all the way in. From the moment the deer walked into my view, it was alert. If I still had an antlerless tag and could have shot it if it wasn’t a buck, I doubt I would’ve gotten it. This deer wasn’t letting its guard down.

The deer walked about halfway to the corn and stopped, its head up and face turned to me.

I didn’t move and I didn’t make a sound. My heart wasn’t racing, my breathing wasn’t raspy. I’ve gotten used to seeing deer while hunting and I no longer get so damn excited when they show up.

The deer stood there for a couple minutes, and then suddenly turned around and bolted away. Its tail was up, showing a large white flag that signaled DANGER!

I don’t know what spooked it. Maybe it saw me, though I always thought the shadows in my shack would conceal me. Or maybe it picked up my scent. even though I used unscented soap and shampoo.

I sat for another hour, but no more deer wandered into my clearing.

Well, it’s Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I’m going to mom and dad’s soon, so I can hunt before the Lions start at 12:30

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.

No Bats in the Shack

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Made it out today. Yesterday it was pretty warm outside, but today it was freezing. It even snowed a little. I know enough about bats to know they don’t mess around when it’s cold. They huddle together for warmth and stay that way until temperatures rise again. Any bat not in the huddle is either dead or dying.

So, I wasn’t too worried about being in the shack today. I admit that I was a little jumpy, but not terribly. Got in a few hours of hunting, but didn’t see any deer. Pretty much just read. Been getting in a lot of reading while sitting in the shack this year.

I packed it up when it was getting dark and made it back to the house in time to catch the last quarter of the Michigan-Indiana game. That was a hell of a snowstorm you guys in Ann Arbor had. People were making snow angels on the field. At times the snow was falling so hard, we could barely see the game.

Michigan won. The final score was 20-10.

A Bat In My Shack

Today was a very nice day. I wished I could’ve gotten over to my mom and dad’s earlier, because I would’ve spent hours sitting in the shack, reading and waiting for deer. But, as it happens, I didn’t get over there until after 4  There wasn’t much time left to hunt, but I went out anyway, just to see what happens.

A little after 5, I was reading Chapter 23 of Joe Hill’s Horns and I became aware of something crawling up my leg. I lifted my leg to see what it was, glimpsed a brownish mass on my ankle… just before it took flight.

“Fucking SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!””

If there were deer approaching my bait, they bolted when I yelled. Probably every hunter for a couple square miles wants to kick my ass right about now.

I sat there for several minutes muttering “holy shit” over and over again. I couldn’t see the bat, but it flew toward the door. For all I knew, it was waiting in the shadows by the hook I needed to lift to open the door.

Eventually I worked up the nerve to reach over, smack the hook up and shove the door wide open. I took my time climbing out, but I kept an eye on where I put my hands until I was on the ground.

Have I mentioned that I’m terrified of bats? I can deal with mice and rats. But bats, uh uh..

Some hunters have names for their hunting shacks and now I know what to name mine. From this day on, my hunting shack shall be called The Bat Shack.

I need to get Batman’s logo, to display on one of the walls. Though, at the moment, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get into my shack again.

Thoughts on Transgender

Recently a friend announced that she is trans, that not so long ago she had the operations to change her sex from male to female. I think that’s awesome. If she’s happier as a woman, then that’s cool.

I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand why someone would have their sex changed. It’ll probably always be a little strange to me. But I don’t need to understand it to be fine with it. I won’t criticize you for it. In fact, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

This friend is married. Had been married to a woman for some years now. They got married long before the operations, and they’re still married. I understand it to be a happy marriage.

A common belief seems to be that a man would want to become a woman because he’s attracted to men. And vice versa, woman, man, because women. Maybe that is the case sometimes. But I think often it has nothing to do with whether you’re attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex.

It might not have anything to do with attraction at all. Maybe it’s that some people feel they should’ve been born as the opposite sex. I can, kind of, wrap my brain around that theory. But transgender is a complex subject.

If you’re transgender, whether you actually had an operation or not, you got my full support. If it makes you happy and it’s not hurting anyone, then I see nothing wrong with it.

Though my friend is now a woman, I don’t think her interests or personality have changed. She’s the same person and I’d still have a beer with her. My only complaint is, now I gotta get used to calling her by a different name.

Firearm Season is Here

Firearm season started yesterday, but I didn’t make it out yesterday. I did today, though.

On the way to the shack, I rounded the hill and a deer ran across my path. It disappeared into the woods. A moment later two more deer went by. Guess I spooked them. They were probably lying around in the field when I came stomping along the path.

I never mastered the silent walk, but I should try to be a little more quiet next time.

I made it to the shack, put some apples on the ground and got settled in. I was reading Joe Hill’s Horns on my phone when I heard a crunching sound. I looked and saw this little deer eating the apples. By the time I got my phone’s camera ready, it was walking away.  That was the only deer that showed up at the shack today.

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A Bummer on Ice

That’s gotta sting. At the beginning of the third period, the score Lightning 3 and Red Wings 1. But the Red Wings picked up their game, got in one goal and then another, bringing the score to 3-3.

As the last few minutes ticked off, I thought they would end up in another shootout. But, the Lightning struck again, 4-3.

The Red Wings did not manage to score again before the buzzer sounded.

Ooo, Negan

On last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, Negan turned up at the town gate with his barbed wire baseball bat and a bunch of assholes. I don’t like Negan, he’s a shit sickle. You know what he did last night? He threatened to kill Judith if Rick didn’t turn over all the guns that the town had listed. Two of the guns on the list were missing and Negan wanted them found.

How about that? Negan had the right idea there. If you want to control people, the best thing to do is disarm them. And oops, if Rick’s town hadn’t been keeping a list of all the guns, Negan wouldn’t have known how many there were and some of the guns could have remained hidden.

Well, Rick was tempted to bash Negan’s head in, but he didn’t. If Negan was cut down, though, I wager his herd of sheep wouldn’t hold together so well. So, really, Rick needs to grow his balls back and bash Negan’s head in.

It’ll probably happen later in the season, but how many will die before it does?

No Blue

Well, damn. It just happened. Iowa wrecked Michigan’s perfect season. By one point.

The Wolverines were ahead. The score was Michigan 13- Iowa 11. But the Wolverines’ defense failed to hold the Hawkeyes back as the last seconds were running out.

The Hawkeyes got themselves within field goal range with three seconds left on the clock.

I prayed that Iowa’s kicker would miss the mark or one of our guys would miraculously leap and block the ball as it flew overhead.

But when has God ever listened to me?