December 1, 2013

A tough start to the hunting season

John Newcom
Outdoors Columnist

---- — November is a great month to hunt, but I have to say that ever since firearms season opened that my hunting has been slow. The deer have disappeared and the decent-sized bucks that had been roaming just out of my bow range are nowhere to be found. The weather has been a real pain so far in November also.

I am not the only one to be having a slow hunting season as I have talked to a few other hunters in my area that are also starting to wonder about filling their buck tag this season. Opening day came with a lot of excitement and then just withered away with me seeing only a few does and they were quite a distance away. The crazy storms that have hit us are also not helping and last weekend felt more like the end of December than November but at least this long holiday weekend has been better than recent ones.

I have heard a few stories from around the state of hunters being injured in falls from tree-stands.

One man was hurt when another tree fell and hit him while he was in his stand and safely strapped in with a safety harness.

I have to say that if the wind is too strong, stay on the ground or at home. If you are using elevated hunting stands then you should make sure that you are wearing a safety harness. These are sometimes a little uncomfortable but they save many hunters from serious injuries every year. I have worn one for years and it just becomes second nature to put it on before heading out to the woods. I cannot stress that safety should be your No. 1 priority at all times while hunting, so be safe.

I had to go to town recently and almost ran off the road as I spied a very nice buck walking across a picked corn field a few miles toward town. It made my heart race and the sight returned the hope I have for filling my buck tag with a decent deer this season. I also had to stop for a few does traveling across the road so they too are moving. I just need to get some venison in my freezer soon as the pressure is starting to weigh on me a little.

I know that if you have ever had to hunt beyond the first two weekends of gun season without having taken anything, then you know how I am feeling.

I hunt mainly for the meat and my family enjoys venison very much. I also love seeing the animals move in the woods without anything else happening but when you are not seeing anything it gets a little tiring.

I guess that this weekend will be the one and that after a long dry spell I will enjoy the harvest of whitetail deer even more than normal.

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