Hunting - So Much More Than Just Shooting Animals

Place: BogesundVaxhoms kommun, Sweden
Coordinates: Lat: 59.41233, Lon: 18.23497
Time: 1 day in February

Whats driving us Hunters? What's the motivation that makes us sit alone freezing in the woods for hours? Well one thing's for sure; if it was only the moment of the killing shoot, we would be in the wrong line of work. Hunting is so much more than just shooting animals.

I booked this hunt a month ago. It's a Sunday evening shift of  Blind Hunting Fox out on Jägareförbundet's hunting grounds in Bogesund. As soon as I booked my spot on the hunt I start planning for my little adventure. It's fascinating how enthusiastic I get from knowing I'm heading out in the woods. It'll be refreshing to day dream during my hectic workdays to come. Stuff I think about up until the hunting day is:
What's the weather gonna be?
Will it be moon light and good visibility?
Is the snow still gonna be here, perhaps I'll use my white snow camouflage?

I'll probably brig my .222 Remington caliber rifle. Still experimenting with ammunition in that one; right mow alternating between Norma's 50 gr Soft Point and the 40 gr Hornady V-Max. Interestingly enough I've started doubting the V-Max after an unfortunate wounding of a Fox during a recent hunt. Since then I've laid down Foxes with the Soft Point instead. But I think it's time for me to take away my skepticism by once again calibrate my rifle for the lighter and faster shooting V-Max. Said and done; The weekend before the hunt I head out to my shooting range for some quality time spent with my old Remington 660. It's amazing how relaxing it is spending some time alone out at the range just focusing on getting a perfect group in the target. The sun is shining and the snow is giving a beautiful white and quiet surrounding. This Friday I stopped by my gun store for some nice chit chat and picking up some ammunition for today. After just four series of three rounds, and some adjusting to my scope, my confident in the V-Max is back.

The following work week I keep in contact with my hunting buddies and exchange ideas about the weather and gossip about game movement in the area the last couple of days. During the weekly laundry I take the opportunity to clean some of my hunting gear.
Saturday is party time; it's my dear Mother in law's birthday. During the cake eating the subject comes up that I'm heading hunting tomorrow. The eyes lights up on a couple of the older guests, and they start sharing some inspiring hunting stories from their youth.
Feels great to sleep in Sunday morning, a long family breakfast before taking a nice Sunday walk together. Now it's time to pack my stuff for tonight.

With a calm smile I turn the ignition key of my pick up truck and head out to the hunting ground. The weather is great and I meet up with the guys to have a go through of the evening activities. After receiving my hunting position I gear up and head out to my tower.

On my way out there I spot a couple of Roe Deer calmly exploring the other end of the field. It's about 03.30 pm and within the hour it'll start getting dark. I try calling for Fox now and then hoping for some predator movement.

Time passes and I'm sitting very still in a ready position resting my rifle fore stock on the tower. As it gets darker the temperature is sinking and my fingers is getting stiffer and stiffer. But that's ok because soon the magic moment will appear;  when the game decide to step out in he field to find some dinner. This is a special moment; it's like everything stops and you'r totally focused on movements in your surroundings. This evening is six beautiful Roe Deer that visit me. Especially one Deer stay close, about 100 meters, and keeps me company for a long time. Nice to see that this well organized Fox hunting is paying off, resulting in a strong population of Deer out here in Bogesund.

At 07.00 o'clock the Hunt Leader call of the evening's hunt and tells us to meet up again. No Fox in my scope this day. But while I climb down from my tower in the darkness, all stiff in my body from sitting all still in the the refreshing Swedish Winter, I smile and totally long for my next hunt! I think I need to practice on my Fox calling. Good thing I'm already signed up for a calling course in a couple of weeks!

I don't know if the answer to my initial question lies within the above little story. But I can say that although no shot was fired this evening I see this as a successful evening out in the woods blessing me with knowledge about my surroundings and helping me to develop as a human being and a Hunter.

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