Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Deer not moving? Coming out of the woods covered in ticks? Post office losing your mail? Assholes cutting you off in traffic? The knucklehead who hunts on your little piece of paradise not wearing orange, shooting illegal bucks, putting stands where he doesn't belong, and hunting with a two shot muzzleloader? Blame it on global warming.

   Deer season ended at 4:29 pm yesterday. Lets recap a long and frustrating season. It started out and ended up warm. But with plenty of apples and mast it didn't take long before I had a buck within range of my bow at GNJohn's orchard stand. On Oct. 13th, just before dark, I put an arrow in what I thought was a pretty nice six pointer. The shot was a bit high, but I hoped I had caught both lungs. The deer disappeared into the swamp. Then I saw what I hoped was the buck cut across the field and vanish. A call to Savage and Milawyer put us, and Bonnie the dog, on blood by 8pm. By 10 pm Bonnie found the dead deer in a briar patch. The six turned out to be an 8. The season got off to a great start.
    By the time gun season opened I had moved to my favorite spot on another farm. The rut was late and the bucks were still chasing opening day. I had fours in front of me, and even passed on a basket eight late in the day. I felt confident a big mature buck would show himself soon. Day after day I hunted hard. I saw more fours, spikes, does, coyotes, porcupines, and woodpeckers. I found big rubs and scrapes. The sign was there, but no shooters showed. The warm weather continued. It wasn't until 5 days into muzzleloader season that we finally had a dusting of snow. With plenty of mast, the deer had no reason to move. They bedded in the scratched up leaves that covered the acorns.
   By last Friday all bets were off. Savage, Mupp, and UB came up to put on drives. We pushed deer. Mupp shot and missed. UB let does pass, waiting for a buck, and Savage and I never got a shot. Yesterday we repeated the drives with the addition of photogGeorge. UB got one. I shot and missed an easy shot at a doe and UB missed the same deer. She was not meant to die that day. Savage passed on a buck and as daylight faded we piled into the pickup and headed back to the shack. With 6 mins. of shooting light left UB spotted a large group of deer, just off the road, in the woods we had just pushed. I sent the other hunters back to the cemetery, jumped from the truck and got ready to make one final push.

   As I stood on the side of the road, loaded gun in hand, waiting for the others to get in position, a school bus stopped, lights flashing, dropping off the neighborhood kids. Welcome to living in the sticks. I waited......and waited. Finally the bus passed me, I smiled and waved at the kids, stepping into the woods. The bus had kept them from bolting across the road. The deer busted up the hill. I waited for a crack and a cloud of smoke. But the deer hung right and escaped. Another season ended. We all came out of the woods safely. By all accounts the deer were scarce. Here's the tally. Savage shot a nice 9. UB got a "doe". I got the 8. And Mupp and PGeorge came up empty. As tough as it was I wouldn't trade my time in the woods for anything. Two end of the season drives with my closest friends was the icing on the cake. If by March the freezer is empty and chicken is for know what to blame. 4 months until turkey season.    


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