Saturday, December 25, 2010
The one good thing about more snow is that it means more and more deer. What seemed like a great short evening turned into a great long evening.
We were let out of work early, so for me, this means heading to the stand. I switched cards in my camera on my walk to the stand and couldn't believe it. The cam was telling me that it had taken nearly 100 photos in only three days!
Needless to say, I was excited to see what the evening would bring. Sighting 5 deer, my eyes were fixed on a giant doe. She worked right past my camera and up the trail behind me. One soft grunt and my arrow was in the air. Looked good and felt better. She buckled and bolted.
I gathered myself and headed for the truck. Grabbing my light, knife, and my sled. Walking through that deep snow is real work, but not to worry. I know she didn't go far. When arriving to the scene it confirmed she wouldn't be far. My arrow was broken and there was blood spray everywhere. You could follow her trail without the light. I got to a point where she had stopped and it looked as if you dumped a pail of blood, but where is she? I pressed on.
A noise caught my attention, but didn't think much of it. Shortly after, I found where she laid down and running tracks leaving the bloody bed. I thought to myself, this is not good. Between how much blood she was losing and the deep snow she couldn't last long. I was wrong again. I pressed on. Her tracks slowed to a walk. By now I was completely sweated and exhausted. Please, please don't go much further. Dragging her out in this ocean of white would really not be fun. Suddenly, my eyes were looking right at her about 100 yards away. So I sat and sat and sat. Finally! She tipped over.
Keeping on her tracks to about half way to her is when the unbelievable happened. Her head went up and she was gone. Just before she entered the woods she blew at me 3 times. I was speechless. I had an event to be at this evening so I made the decision to keep pushing her. I did just that. She entered the landowners hard and into the wind row pines. Suddenly, I heard him call out to me. I went into his house to give her time. We chatted and he have me a ride to my truck that was parked at the next farm. We figure I had followed her over a mile in the deep snow. I was SHOT!
After having my truck back at his house we gave her more time. I must say that this landowner is absolutely a great person. Without him I would still probably be out there. Thanks for everything Jim! I pulled my truck to within 20 yards of her last tracks. Getting back on them, I looked and there she was. Expired in the pines. Thank you! I could not believe the shear size of this beast. One of the larges antlerless deer I have ever taken.
It all turned out really great in the end. I got to build a better relationship with the landowner and I only had a short drag! Although it was getting rather late and I would miss my even. This is, at least for me, the way Christmas should be spent! One tag remains and I am getting pics of the buck I would like to shoot. He did not shed his left side, it is broken about 8 inches up and I am making the decision to shoot him if he comes in within the next 8 days.
I would like to dedicate this deer and this hunt to the Cook family. The are going through something one could not image. Living with breast cancer. They have three beautiful children. I wish them health and happiness to come. They are truly great people. Stay strong and I am here for you.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Deep snow, ice, and sub zero temperatures. Thick frost and numbing winds. Conditions are tough, or are they?
Unfortunately, I had a short weekend. None the less, it was time to hunt. Reality keeps us from being in the woods as much as we would like. Making use of every available minute is not always too easy either. Especially with the holidays fast approaching. I must say, I had one of "those" weeks. You know what I'm talking about, right? Everything you attempt unfolds the wrong way and stress is heightened. Blah, blah, blah.
Anyways, I checked my cameras. Happy with one and disappointed in the other. I pulled them all but one now. The one I left showed me something great. Movement was up, big time. There are a few trees that the deer have been pounding acorns. I try to enhance this with minerals, such as a Trophy Rock. It is very hard for the deer to get anything and will take all they can get now. The minerals helps heighten the feeding frenzy and is rather beneficial to the heard. The pics showed movement at all times of the afternoon into the early part of the night. They were feeding hard, real hard.
Small bucks, family groups, and one shooter. Unfortunately, the shooter had already shed his left side. It is still nice to see a good one make it this far. Without his right side, he is safe from me as well. I even got a pic of a mature doe kicking a smaller deers butt. Pecking order is in full effect. You can see the pics in my 2010 Trail Cam Pics page.
I sat only two short evenings with sightings of about a dozen deer. The numbers are going up, which is promising. I'm not too fond of tag sandwiches and things are looking good. Some of my hunting companions have a couple left as well. Perhaps some more tag teaming might be in store. When this week ends on Thursday, I have the rest of the season off. I'm very excited for that! Christmas will be spent in a tree for me. Wouldn't have it any other way. That is the best gift of all, bowhunting. I will keep you posted on how it all unfolds.
No matter which way it goes!