Friday, December 2, 2016

I had today off. As I marched through the darkness this morning, I was really undecided about where I wanted to go. Since I got going really early, I knew I would have more than enough time to get set up wherever I wanted to be well before daylight. Although I haven’t always followed my gut instinct, I’ve tried to weigh my options and make an educated guess about where I think my chances of seeing something will be the greatest.

About 40 minutes into my hike, something just clicked inside my head. Instantly, I changed my course and headed into an area that I think the depths of hell might resemble. Although I’ve never seen a deer in the area, something was gnawing at my insides to go there. It’s an area that never has very much sign, but something about it makes me understand that big bucks use it, while other deer probably avoid it. Far too many people hunt where all of the sign is blatantly obvious, which works out more often than not, but people who achieve higher levels of success tend to take chances from time to time. That’s why I decided to take a chance. I figured I had nothing to lose.

When it got light, I didn’t like the place I was sitting, so I looked around and found a more suitable location. I planted myself on a knob with a small beech tree acting as my backrest. I could see down into a bowl that I’m pretty sure big bucks skirt around the low side of it.

It spit snow on and off all day. It was just enough of a nuisance to make me somewhat uncomfortable, but something made me remain seated under the beech tree until the woods became too gray to see well enough to identify animals.

When this happened, I packed my gear and began my long journey back to the truck. I planned on meeting my father at a place where we could follow each other back to the road. By the time I got there, he was patiently waiting with his headlamp secured around his hat.

After a brief discussion about the day, I learned that he had seen a few deer but no bucks. It was about 5:30 p.m. by the time we got to the truck. Neither one of us could believe that we didn’t see a buck. It seemed like a good day to catch up to one. When we both have those feelings, we usually end up on the good end of the stick. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Brian, Josh and my Uncle Lee will be at camp sometime tonight. It’s the annual weekend that we all enjoy the meals that Lee cooks for us. It’s one of those unforgettable things that people talk about all year. Although it’s the end of the season, we always look forward to the camaraderie on this weekend. We killed this buck in an area where there wasn’t much sign at all. It just looked like big bucks would use an area like the one he was in. If you take chances like this from time to time, you can be rewarded with a good buck. This one was 22 inches wide.

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