Monday November 29, 2010

I found myself on the road again yesterday. I decided at the last minute to go to Ohio for the opening day of gun season. Since 2002 I can’t seem to stay away from areas that hold a number of large antlered deer.

I got there in time to look around on Sunday afternoon. The unfortunate part was that I was going to hunt a place that I’ve never shotgun hunted so I didn’t know what to expect. In some respects I lost my security blanket. I had a great spot where I used to go, but a few things changed which made me stay away from that place.

I was in the woods an hour and a half before daylight. I settled in and waited for the sun to rise. I had deer walking around me and running past me in the dark. I figured it would be a good day.

Twenty minutes after daylight I could hear the leaves crunching. Within a few minutes I could see 4 guys. They all had head lamps on and they were still turned on although it had been light for a full 20 minutes. One of them finally noticed me and commented “How did that guy get here and where did he come from?” They continued discussing the matter and two of them walked out of sight. The other two set their treestands up right next to me. Once they were settled in I range-found the closest one. He was 39 yards from me. That put a damper in the morning, but I sat there anyway. I had anything on the top side covered.

I didn’t see any deer until noon. I saw a big body sneaking through the brush. A few years back I killed one at noon doing the same thing. My heart was racing as I watched the deer stand still for a few seconds. I scanned with my binoculars and saw that it was a huge doe followed by a button-buck which actually had little spikes. The Amish guy next to me didn’t see the deer as they went past me.

Twenty minutes later 4 deer, 2 does and 2 fawns came screaming down the hill next to me. All of the deer were small. The fawns probably weighed 50 pounds.

The Amish guy started yelling, “Stop, Hey Stop, Stop!!!” He fired one shot and then two more. I saw the deer turn and head up the hill………and there were only three of them. One fawn had been killed and the mother wouldn’t leave. She started walking back toward her fallen fawn. She didn’t want to leave, but realized that she must in order to save her own life and the other fawn.

The guy eventually found his deer and got a few of his buddies to help him drag it out. Another one of his clan climbed up in the tree and sat next to me until almost dark. That was the only action I had the entire day.

Dad only saw three deer and they were the same ones that I just wrote about. We talked to our buddy Mike who is a local. He said there were 11 cars in the parking lot we were parked in and 15 in the lot that we normally hunt out of. He said it was the least amount of shooting he has ever heard.

This morning (Tuesday, November 30 since I’m writing this after returning) greeted us with howling winds and rain. It wasn’t too bad to hunt, but it would have made the morning sit a little damp. We decided not to hunt because of our long drive home and lack of action. We didn’t see one car on the road when we drove down the road. That will be a good thing for next bow season. Not many deer were killed yesterday and nobody was in the woods today. The first two days are always the busiest two days of the season. They’ll kill a few over the weekend, but a deer’s chances of staying alive go up dramatically when it survives the first two days.

The rest of the week will be extremely busy at work. I won’t have a chance to hunt again until the weekend. The season is winding down now. I’m tired, but I still have some gas left in the tank. Hopefully we can get a couple of nice days to sit before it’s all over.

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