Into the Blind

I love exploring new trails, but more often than not, I rely on Six Mile Run and Brendan T. Byrne for dependable, familiar training runs. I know these spots like the back of my hand, which means I know what paths to take for specific distances. The dogs know the turns without having to say a word. I also know we share the woods with mountain bikers and hunters, but rarely have much interaction. 

Despite the familiarity, every run can still surprise me (like when the dogs took off without me). This morning I heard a lot of gunshots as we started out, which isn't unusual. We saw plenty of deer scattering around us, and the shots were not far from where we were running. I wasn't overly concerned, since my cart makes a racket and the dogs all wear bright orange.

As we approached the midway point of our run, we came around a bend and almost plowed directly into a portable hunting blind, which was set up in the middle of the trail. I had never seen that before! Luckily, we had space to wedge by while only getting slightly tangled ganglines. The hunter was friendly and intrigued by what I was doing -- and not upset that we were most likely scaring the deer away. We passed by him again on our way back, and he was kind enough to push his blind and gear off to the side for us this time around.

As an animal lover, most would assume I'm against hunting. I don't know what his intentions were, but I actually do support hunting for food. In many ways, I think it's probably more humane than factory-farmed meat. I'll assume the best, and hope he got himself some venison after we left.

Jessica Kizmann

Dog musher, New Jersey.