Bird called last night, just after dark. "Look out your window." There it was- big wet snow flakes. Damn! I hadn't counted on this before Halloween, but was more than happy to see it. As a bow hunter, this time of year is great to sit in the tree on a warm afternoon, no gloves, dozing off, watching deer munch in the fields. But after a couple of weeks of that it's time to get down to business. The rut is a while away, so the best way to hunt is to pattern the critters between bedding and food source. I have one stand in an orchard and another off in the oaks, over on Majestic. I decided the Majestic spot was the one for the morning.
The house was warm, with the wood stove cranking when I got up in the dark. The thermometer read 31 degrees. A couple cups of coffee and I'm good to go. My first problem was to locate my windshield scrapper. Both the truck and car were a mess of clothes and hunting crap. There was no way I could find the scrapper. The next best thing was a split log off the wood pile. My fingers were freezing before i even started the truck. I cleared an area of ice just big enough to see through and headed for my spot. The ground was frozen crunchy. I circled and approached my stand from the east, keeping the wind in my face. Once I was 20 feet off the ground and strapped in, it didn't take long before I heard the unmistakable light cadence of a deer approaching. I slowly rose out of the snowy seat and clipped my release to the drawstring. I could see the deer working its way towards me. It looked like a nice doe. My breath quickened.
I have no idea what ya'll were doing at dawn, but as i looked around at the rising sun dancing off the snow covered branches, some still holding bright red and yellow leaves, that deer slowly approaching, i felt a little sorry for all of you still in bed. The deer was taking its time. When it was about 50 yards out it raised it's head and I saw two tiny antlers. It was a spike buck- illegal in this county. I wouldn't have shot him even if he was legal. Too small. I sat back down, breathed deeply and tried to lower my heart rate. That was all I saw all morning. About 9:30 am i climbed out of the tree and headed back to the truck to warm up. Beautiful.