Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020

I rearranged my schedule so I could get out early enough to hunt today. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and good things usually result from that type of feeling. There was snow on the ground from yesterday, so I knew I’d get to see what the deer had done in the past 24 hours.

As I made my way around the mountain and down toward a big creek, the sound of the running water was deafening. With all of the rain we’ve had recently, the creeks are bursting at the seams. The noise reminded me of the times I used to cross the same creek when I was in my early 20s. Many things have changed since then, but my love for hunting remains the same. I try to make the most out of every minute of the season — every season.

I cut more tracks in my few miles of walking than I had cut in the last few weeks in the areas I had been hunting with my rifle. This area is always good at the end of the season, especially when the acorns are plentiful.

I enjoyed my time in the woods today, even though I didn’t see anything. It was refreshing to be back in the piece of woods where I learned so much about hunting, using hunting pressure to my advantage an animal behavior. If I hadn’t grew up in this piece of woods, I never would have had the success I’ve had over the years. I was able to see piles of deer every time in the woods, and I was able to watch them and what they did. I learned how deer interacted with each other, and I learned how bucks traveled with and without does. I was able to do all of that because it was before 4-wheelers began inundating the forests. There were also no leases stacked up across the region with 10-15 guys crammed into 400 acres, and another 15 guys crammed into the neighboring 400 acres. Although no land was posted back then and you could basically go anywhere you wanted to go, there was much less pressure. There was still a lot of pressure but nothing like it is today. The deer don’t stand much of a chance these days as compared to 30 years ago. The deer herd in this area has had its share of challenges, but it still sustains itself. The giant bucks don’t get killed like they used to, but a few average to nice deer get killed every few years. The area has phenomenal potential to create huge bucks. If they could get to maturity, the giant bucks what were killed in the mid-to-late ’80s and early ’90s would be plentiful again.

I’m hoping to get out another day this week before our late muzzleloader season ends on Sunday. We will have to see how it goes. Here are a few of those good bucks from back in the day.

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