Saturday, December 3, 2016

Today was one of the more miserable days I’ve spent in the woods this year. Something made me return to the same place I went yesterday. I can’t explain why this place has been calling my name, but I’m listening. The voice is getting louder and louder by the minute. Do any other rational people hunt areas where they’ve never seen deer? I often wonder that. Looking at past history, I’ve had success doing this. It’s exactly how I killed the Ghost, which I wrote about in my first book.

The forecast called for a 10% chance of precipitation today, turning to 0% after 10:00 a.m. I’m pretty sure the meteorologist missed the boat on this one. I got pelted the entire day by a mixture of sleet and snow. Unprepared with all of the essentials to stay completely dry, I sat under the small beech tree and took it on the chin. I turned to the sky a few times and gave a few gestures that explained my feelings just in case anyone out there was listening.

Shortly after a dousing of snow, I decided to brush my coat off to clear the white stuff off from me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention to anything around me and started making all sorts of rapid movements.

A loud “Wsssshhhhh, Wssshhhhh” startled me. Pulling the gun to my shoulder and centering the crosshairs on the deer running through the woods, I waited for an opportunity to get a look at their heads. I identified one of them as a fawn and the other as a doe.

After they disappeared, the minutes crawled into the noon hour, and I couldn’t remain seated to endure anymore of the misery. Getting up, I strolled over to where the deer had been standing when they alerted me of their presence. Amazingly, they were less than 30 yards from me. I can’t believe I was that oblivious to my surroundings. As I stood there looking at the tracks, I felt like a rookie. I had failed the deer hunting 101 test. I had lost my concentration and let it lead me into a place I shouldn’t have been.

I continued still-hunting the rest of the day. I didn’t cut anymore fresh tracks. It didn’t look like the deer moved very much today. When I met dad at the truck at dark, he didn’t have much better news. He saw a few does and a fawn shortly after it got light out but that was it for the day.

Brian and Josh covered a lot of ground. They put on about 6 miles on their GPS units. Brian said he found a few places that he would like to return to next year, but a tent might be necessary to hunt it effectively. We will head back into the area in the spring to see what it has to offer. He left a camera in there for the winter. Let’s hope he has better luck with cameras than I do. I’ve been losing them faster than I can replace them. The quality of them has gone down rapidly since more people have started using them. I think they’re made to last about a year or two at the most.

Here’s a picture of the Ghost that I mentioned earlier. I killed him the first time I ever sat in the area. It was a place that I’m sure most people would have never thought about sitting. I still can’t figure out why I sat there the day I killed this buck.

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