December 6, 2013

Finally some venison in the freezer for columnist

John Newcom Outdoors Columnist

---- — I was really beginning to wonder if I was going to harvest any deer this season, but I finally did. The day after Thanksgiving had me trying something different in the hopes of putting some meat in the freezer.

It has been the longest dry spell in hunting terms this year than any previous year to date that I can remember since taking my first deer. The season started strong with me seeing nice bucks during the archery season but of course they stayed just out of my range.

I had even passed on a few nice doe early on in the hopes of a nice buck was following them. I had even seen deer right up until firearms season began, so I was very hopeful of opening day. I had no luck until the day after Thanksgiving.

I was tired of not seeing anything so I decided to use my climbing stand. I took it into the woods early in the afternoon and found a nice trail that looked well used and found a suitable tree to set up in and then I waited. I did not have a lot of confidence in that afternoon but at 5 a nice doe came into view and I could not pass her up. I do not like to shoot deer in the late afternoon as I always lose light too fast and this happened to me again. I had to get help and finally got her home. I really like to shoot deer in the morning and then I can take all the time I need and light is never a problem.

I finally had meat for the freezer. I have to say that the online check-in system is great. I love not having to drive my deer miles just to bring it home to butcher. It is a great service!

We hunted Saturday morning in the hopes of taking a buck, but neither my wife or I had any luck that day or Sunday. We butchered Sunday afternoon and as we were finishing up and the sun was beginning to set I saw deer moving. I knew then that there was going to be a buck and of course a nice eight point was chasing a doe all around one of the areas where I hunt. I was a little put out, but I still have hope that I can take a nice buck during muzzle loader or with my crossbow. I guess time will tell and for now I am happy to get some venison in the freezer. The next few days I will make sausage and jerky. These little extras are loved by the entire family and are fun to make.

I hope you have had a better season than we have had so far, but if you haven’t just hang tough and keep trying. I will see you out there as I will be trying to take a nice buck too! Good luck and good hunting!

John Newcom is an outdoors columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached through the sports department at 574-732-5180 or