Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021

  The snow just won’t let go. It’s all but impossible to walk through the woods without getting drenched. The snow is stuck to all of the branches and making it downright miserable to hunt. In almost all places, it’s all but impossible to see more than 30 yards. It makes for tough hunting conditions. 

  We’ve been getting a later start than I would like lately, but that’s in part because I’m trying to hunt my way to a starting point. After getting to that predetermined place each morning, I decide what to do. 

  Today, I chose to plop down against a small beech tree and overlook a runway that gets used quite a bit. I saw a doe and two fawns at 11:00 a.m.  I probably should’ve remained there, but I got up and started wandering.

  My travels allowed me to find where the deer are spending most of their time.  I told Brian he could go there and kill a buck. It’s a place I don’t want to hunt because it’s in some severely steep ledges, and I have no interest in making a habit out of going there. My fear of heights is the leading factor in my decision. 

  Today I found where a buck has visited a scrape two times in the last 48 hours. His tracks are the only set of tracks to and from the scrape. Unfortunately, the scrape is within feet of a cliff. I just can’t make myself sit there, even though I know I could kill a good one there. 

  I still-hunted the rest of the day. Late in the day, I spotted a deer a few seconds before it spotted me. Instantly, I knew I was shooting. I shouldered the gun and slid the safety forward. The buck had spotted me but was unsure of my presence. 

  I quickly looked over the scope to make 100% sure it was a buck I wanted to take and knew it was go-time. When I lowered my head, I saw that my breath had fogged the scope, and I couldn’t see out of it at all.  I tried with all my might to get it clear  enough to get a shot off quickly. 

  I never accomplished the task, and the buck ran up the hill. I was highly disappointed and irritated with myself. I couldn’t believe how hard I’ve worked, and I let a rookie mistake keep me from putting my tag on a dandy buck. He was high and big. 

  I guess it’s just one of those years. It started in the Midwest and followed me home. I haven’t had a year like this in a long time. I’m hoping for a little change in luck, but I’m not holding my breath. 

  It was 7 degrees when I left my truck this morning. It’s supposed to be another chilly day tomorrow. We will see what happens. 

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