Withdrawal

It took the editor about a day before deer hunting withdrawal set in.

“I want to hunt blacktails,” I moaned to Amy as we lay in bed last night.

Well, I’m not really sure if I do.

Did I tell you the one about me wandering through reprod near Granite Falls, seeing all sorts of deer sign, and getting back to my buddy who’d been watching the clearcut ahead of me and him only seeing me a time or two?

If he couldn’t see me in all that low jungle of maples, Doug firs and ferns, how again were we supposed to see any deer?!?!?

But still, it’s deer hunting, which otherwise is 352 long — very, very looooooooooooooooong — days, 14 hours and 40 minutes away until mid-October’s general rifle opener.

My wife isn’t offering much comfort, but a minute later I whined, “I want to hunt whitetails.”

They’re much further away from home, and real bastards to hunt in the thick Northeast Washington lowlands, but an interesting challenge.

A 5×5 I got near Newport in 2006 made me feel like some sort of antler-rattlin’ all-star when a quick click-clack turned him my way for a short-range shot.

“I want to hunt muleys,” I then lamented to Amy.

They’re my favorites, and visions of my buddy’s dad’s über-wide-racked buck danced in my head — still alive and waiting for me at Andy’s Saddle.

(ERIC BELL)

But mule deer season’s done pretty much everywhere save for Klickitat County, and there’s no way I’m getting there before the last day, Friday.

So that means whitetails or, yes, blacktails. The rut hunt for the former opens Nov. 6-19, and latter are open through All Hallows Even, then again in mid-November in select units.

“What if I go for only a half day for blacktail this Saturday?” I broached to Amy. “I could be back by 2.”

“Christine needs your help moving that day,” she said of one of her friends in Seattle.

“What?! She doesn’t need help — she’s only moving a block away from her old house!” I said.

“No.”

Amy has had her fill of handling two little boys for 16 days, 16 hours and 3 minutes straight without a weekend break.

Can’t say I blame her. I need a break from those little dervishes after 15 minutes!

Not that I’m giving up trying to go hunting.

When she told me this afternoon that her mom was coming tomorrow for a weekend stay with us, I blurted out, “That means ..!”

“No, it doesn’t,” she quickly cut me off.

Harumph.

Maybe tonight I’ll put on my orange and go play with my buck grunt and rattle some antlers in the shed.

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