Friday, December 6, 2019

The forecast for the day called for snow from the get go, so I packed my rain gear to avoid getting sopping wet. Unsure of what to do for the day, I based my decision on what Dad decided to do. I wanted to wear snow camo, but opted to wear my rain gear instead.

  He wanted to hunt a valley between a couple of steep ridges, so I decided to go around the back of the mountain where he was going and set up there. I figured that he might push me some deer or we might intercept one if it had any intentions of going up one side of the mountain and down the other.  Although I hate hunting steep terrain, my gut told me to give it a whirl today, and very rarely does my gut let me down. 

  Amazingly, the snow held off until around 10:00, but then it came down in blinding fashion. Since it was 15 degrees out, the snow was really fine and fluffy. Unfortunately, it began accumulating quickly. Before long, I was covered in snow but remained dry due to my Goretex coat. I wanted to be wearing snow camo, but the falling snow led me in a different direction. 

  I sat in the same spot for the better part of the morning. Around 11:00, I heard my dad’s voice on the radio. He told me he was mucking around on top of the mountain and there were a lot of tracks up there. He told me to make sure I stayed alert because he had a feeling something might make its way past me. He wasn’t wrong. A doe and fawn trotted by me shortly after I got done talking to him. 

 For the afternoon, we decided to use our cut-off method. Dad sat on one side of a saddle and I sat on the other. This particular saddle offers the deer more choices than normal at each end of it. That’s why we decided to take this approach. You can read more about that method in my lates book, “Pursuing Public Land Bucks.”

  At 2:00, the snow was piling up, and I was battling to stay warm. At 2:15, I heard Dad’s voice on the radio, which was in my chest pocket. As his voice chirped, I left the radio alone. A buck had stopped a short distance from me and was alert. Looking at it, I debated shooting it and figured I would let it walk 

  When he got closer to me, I heard Brian’s voice in my head. He always chirps about having the 8-point rule in the Adirondacks. “If it has 8 points, I’m shooting it,” he always says.  Looking at it through the scope, my mind took over and Brian’s thoughts inside my mind won out. 

  I pulled the trigger and the deer fell in its tracks. I pulled the radio out of my pocket and said, “What did you say?”

  Dad responded with, “Did you hear that shot?”

“Yup, I did,” I said. 

“Where was it compared to where you are?”

I smirked and said, “It was me. The deer is dead.”

Well, at that point the fun was over. After dressing out the deer, we headed out of the woods. The going was tough at times, but the brutality of it made the journey more rewarding. Yes, we could have quartered it or deboned it, but there has always been something about a whole deer that burns into my soul, especially an Adirondack buck that gets shot on the back side of a mountain. When we reached the road, it was about 6:30.  Amazingly, I felt good. Brian and Josh didn’t see a deer today. Looks like they should’ve gone with us into the area we found a few years back. This year has been hard to figure out. 

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