The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Stalking Fall

To The Desert Independent

November 6, 2020

Old Jasper Blankenship went out to hunt deer the other day, the same way heís done for decades now. Deer season has changed a lot for Jasper over the many years heís been at it. As a kid, he couldnít wait until he was old enough to get a license, because he wanted to bring a buck home to show his family. Not just any buck, either, but a big one.

As a young man, he wanted to see how many hunting seasons he could have in one year: duck, goose, quail, pheasant, deer, about anything that moved.

As a middle-aged man, he turned to the technology of hunting and wanted to learn about the newest gizmo that would make you quiet, make you invisible, make you irresistible to deer.

But things are different these days. Oh, Jasper still enjoys going through all the outdoor magazines and orders catalogs, and each year he buys some new gizmo that guarantees to bring home the meat. But he just chuckles at them, even as he orders them. Hunting, to him, means a reattachment to nature, a return to his roots. It is a time to see if his personal skills are still adequate. It is also a time to sit on a ridge and look around and appreciate what is there. And if what isnít there happens to be a deer, well, thatís all right, too.

Venison isnít getting any easier to pack back to camp after all these many seasons, either. But there is something in the hunt, something in being allowed to silently stalk the nameless essence of fall, something in moving in near invisibility. There is something.

Sometimes itís just nice to go out there and see what happens.

Brought to you by The Backpocket Guide to Hunting Elk, by Slim Randles. Practical advice from a registered guide, at

"Home Country" columnist Slim Randles won three regional book awards for the two books he wrote in 2014. "Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing" won for best how-to book and best cover design at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in Albuquerque. Randles lives in Albuquerque and has a dozen books currently in print.

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