We built our fire, ate some camp staples (all roasted over the open fire, of course), told a few hunting stories, and turned in for the night. Of course, the five year-old I was worried about most (who was spending his first night ever in a tent) fell fast asleep and stayed that way all night. Then, just as I was drifting off for the first time, I awoke to, "Dad! Dad, wake up...do you hear that? Something is breathing outside our tent!!!" Somewhat delirious, I popped my head up and listened closely...sure enough, there was a steady, growling, breathing noise that sounded extremely nearby. As I listened, trying to remember if I had, in fact, put every scrap of food safely back in the truck so as to not attract bears, I realized the sound was coming from directly in between us. I breathed a sigh of relief and whispered, "go to sleep - it's your little brother snoring."
Most of the time, a weekend of scouting for game is the most relaxing part of hunting. You walk around the woods, observe some nature, but you don't have any of the intensity of actually hunting an animal yet. Basically, it's a purposeful nature-walk, and is generally low key and very refreshing. This weekend, however, was NOT one of those times. It seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and you know it's a bad day when you actually think through how you'd direct a rescue helicopter to your location. The things we do for this glorious sport!