January 7, 2014

Strange season yields good results


---- — I have to say that this year has been quite unique during deer season. The tremendous swings in weather have led to a totally different season than I think most of my fellow deer hunters and I were expecting. From warm mild days to thunderstorms and tornado activity one part of the season and then cold snow and then extremely cold weather, wow what a year.

I did manage to take a few deer between these weather outbreaks. I harvested a nice doe during firearms season to finally get some venison in the freezer. I did not see many nice-sized bucks after firearms came into season, so a trophy-sized buck eluded me. I did get a chance to hunt on the final day of muzzle-loader season and after walking through all the water that was left standing from quite a bit of rain, I managed to find a stand sitting high and dry to hunt from that morning.

The temperatures were decent and it did not take long until I began to see deer. The creek was almost out of its banks as it flowed and I watched it a lot that morning hoping that if I did get an opportunity at a nice doe or a buck that they would stay away from the roaring water.

I knew that if they went into it and could not make it across then they would soon be in the river with no chance for me to recover it. I have had a doe run to the creek and then collapse in it so that I had to pull out of the creek before, but the water level was normal then. On this day there was no way to safely get a deer that might collapse trying to get across the creek out of the water. It stayed in my thoughts as a nice doe appeared along the creek bank.

I watched as she made her way towards me and away from the flowing waters that raged behind her. I followed her as she began to angle behind my stand and away from me. I could not find a shot so I watched and noticed her glancing back towards the direction that she had came. I eased around and saw an average buck walking the same trail, but as he came, he chose a different path that led him towards me

He stepped from behind and to the left of me as he continued down the trail. I am right handed and this was an uncomfortable sitting shot so I rose as he looked away. I lined up my sites and as he stepped broadside I squeezed the trigger only to meet resistance from not having flipped the safety off. I pushed the safety off and four more steps he was once again in my sites and this time by the boom and smoke from my muzzle-loader let me know I finished the job. A short thirty-yard blood trail and the work began on dressing him out. It was a nice seven-point that would taste very good in the weeks to come.

Good luck and stay safe outdoors!