Monday, November 27, 2017

A ridge in a far-off place beckoned me to return there today. When you find the sign you’re looking for, you must return and make good on it. You have to give it everything you have, when an opportunity it waiting for you to find it.

I got an earlier start and packed the miles on in the darkness. As daylight neared, I knew I was getting close to where I wanted to be, so I sat down to take a break and contemplate exactly where I wanted to go and what kind of plan I needed to accomplish what I was trying to do.

When I decided where I needed to be, I started poking up a really steep ridge. I had every hope of finding a bear heading toward its den in a series of ledges, after all, I had seen where it had been feeding not to far way yesterday. My guess was a shot in the dark, but I felt good about it.

Shortly after daylight, a big doe and a fawn made their way past me. I also saw a pile of tracks on the fresh snow on my way to get to where I wanted to go. It gave me some hope for my father.

When his voice crackled on the radio around 10:00, I was happy to hear his voice. He was in the still-hunting mode, and he had seen a lot of deer and cut a lot of fresh tracks. I could hear the confidence in his voice.

The rest of the day passed quickly, and I found a lot of deer sign but found no more sign of the bear I got close to yesterday. Bears seem to be more elusive than deer, but then again, it’s probably just because there are a lot fewer of them as compared to deer.

Shortly before dark, I decided to sit in an area where I felt a hint on confidence on my shoulders. Although I didn’t see any black critters, I did see three more deer and one was a really nice buck. If my dad had been sitting in that spot, we would have been in for a long drag tonight. It was a really good ADK deer that any hunter would have been happy to shoot. It wasn’t as large as the buck I killed on Halloween, but it was still a good one.

I have to return to work for three days, but I’ll be back at it for the last three days of northern zone in New York. I’m looking forward to spending the time with my dad and my friends. It’s a weekend with a lot of tradition, and it’s something I look forward to every year. Although it caps off my favorite time of year, my body welcomes the relief. I’ve put a lot into it this year, and I’ll continue doing so until the sun sets on Sunday evening. I’ll be ready to call it a year, except for the two days of late muzzleloader season when I will find myself back in the woods somewhere.

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