Primitive Bow Hunt
I wanted to get into the more remote areas without leaving a signature.  I figured the best way in this particular area was by water.  So, I loaded up my dugout with everything I would need for the next two days, and took off.
My first attempt at huntin' deer with a primitive bow and arrows didn't bring in any meat.  However, if I learn anything from my failure, it wasn't a waste of time.  But, even if I remain as ignorant of primitive bow hunting skills as I am, I still had a hoot in the woods.

I remember reading a historical account of tribal elders lamenting how the younger generation had abandoned the "old ways" of The People.  They no longer made their own hunting gear, but rushed after the white man's loud and graceless weapons.  They disrespected the ways of the ancestors and the proper respect for the animals that provided them food.  This account wasn't from the late 1800s and the end of the free First Nation tribes.  These were the laments of the elders before the Revolutionary War had even created the United States.

After just one hunt with the primitive bow and arrows, I've learned just how little I know about hunting.  I also understand the First Nation's rush to acquire the White Intruders weapons.
I beached my dugout down wind from my hunting area.  As I pulled the canoe out of the water, I noticed I was parked by a beaver's territorial marker.  I didn't think anything of it, though every time I stepped on something squishy, I'd look down and see it.
I wouldn't recommend walkin' around in the woods dressed like a deer.  I felt pretty secure in my campin' area because of the heavy brush between me and any other traveled areas.  I didn't have a problem takin' these photos.  However, everywhere else I went by land, I wore my blaze orange vest.  In this last photo, you can see how naturally the empty bow case and the quiver hang.  The large knife is the large butcher knife made by Green River Works.  I felt confident enough I would be doin' some butcherin', I made a handle and sheath for it.
With the limited range of the primitive bow and arrows, I would have to make a closer kill than I had ever made before.  Before the hunt, I soaked my clothes in the lake and hung them to dry on the Alder brush.  I wetted my hair in the lake.  I painted my face with the mud from the banks.  I carried dried apple slices in my cheek like chew to cover the scent of my breath. Deer wouldn't worry about a coyote.
This is a very active ford over the beaver creek.  My natural blind is just to the right of the trail coming up from the creek.  The blind puts me between the ford and several pre-rut scrapes up near the feeding area.

The beaver have moved back into this creek and begun to dam it up again.  Even though the old dam is now under water, the deer continue to ford here.
Here I am raising up out of the natural blind in a hole near the creek and down-wind from the ford.  When seated in the hole, the grass and alder bushes screen me from view.  A shot could only be taken as the deer walks away up the hill, but that offers the best kill shot anyway.  The deer would have to walk right past my blind.
Here is one of the pre-rut scrapes further up the hill near the feeding grounds.  This area has few oak trees, so there isn't a "hot" feeding spot to stake-out.
I spent the early afternoon dozin' in the dugout so I would be able to stay alert in the blind and walk home in the moonlight.  It was just a little nippy in the shade.  I thought about pullin' my Wilde wool blanket over me, but I was too comfortable.
During my evening in the blind, I experienced almost everything a hunter could hope to enjoy, except the sight of deer.  Sparrows fluttered about and perched overhead.  Swallows darted through the darkening skies.  A few feet away, I could hear the beaver go to work in the stream they had begun to dam.  A couple of turkeys came struttin' and bobbin' down the hill within 30 feet of my blind.  They dropped down out of sight into a pothole on the other side of the trail.  If the wind had changed direction, I would have used the pothole as my alternative blind.  It had a small pool in it and I could hear the turkeys splashing around.  Every once in a while one would fly straight up, only to plunge back down into the pothole with a flurry and a splash.  After a while the turkeys flew off to join four other turkeys who had gone to roost in a giant Cottonwood about 150 yards away.

Soon it was dark enough I figured I could abandon my blind and make my way back to the dugout for the night.  I hadn't been cold in the blind, but as I walked through the dark meadows and woods, the early dew wetting my moccasins, I began to get cold.  By the time I reached the dugout I was glad I had laid-out my bed beforehand.  I shucked-off my wet mocs, tossed 'em into the dugout where they would rest below my legs and be dried overnight by my body heat.  I put on my extra huntin' shirt and thigh-high wool stockings, then slid myself between the folds I had made.  With my buffalo robe folded under me, my Wilde wool blanket folded over me, and a bee's wax-rubbed hemp tarp over all to keep the frost out, I was soon warm again.

I could hear the beaver working in the lake and across to the far shore.  I could hear them probe the shallows up near the bank, snuffing out this odd intruder in their territory.  When I stirred in my dugout, they splashed across the shallows to deep water and slapped their tail in warning. It wasn't long before they were back again.  All night long they approached the dugout, slapping their tails whenever I alarmed them.  Sometime during the night, I realized they were offended I hadn't respected their territorial marker.  They would visit me all night long.
In the early morning light, the beaver were still working diligently near my camp sight.
The wind hadn't change as I began to steal through the thicket towards my hunting grounds.  Before I had gone twenty steps, what sounded like two deer, exploded from the thicket where they had escaped the night's frost.  They bedded less than 30 feet from where I had spent the night.  That was the closest I came to deer on the whole hunt.  By mid-morning, I began scouting areas I would hunt beaver.
I packed the dugout and took off to scout out the beaver activity across the lake.
There was no shortage of activity.
All along the length and breadth of the lake, beaver activity was the highest I've seen it in the last five years.  I will certainly be back November 6th to begin the harvest.