Saturday 12/1/12

I didn’t get much sleep last night. It was the first time our family camp has been full of hunters in a very long time. I think it made my Uncle Lee smile as well as bring back some old memories. It reminded of when I used to hunt opening day in Southern Zone when it always opened on a Monday. I would go to bed with great anticipation. A few years the next day met my expectations and other years I was sorely disappointed.

When we woke up I had a pretty good feeling, although the feeling might not have been directly related to my chance of killing a deer. I figured with that many people in camp a few of us would likely see some deer. As I began my journey into the woods it was dark, but with the snow on the ground I knew it wouldn’t take long to get light. My dad decided to go sit on a ridge where we found a tremendous amount of sign last week. It was one of those places we couldn’t ignore. It deserved our attention and with that much sign you never know what might walk by you in the Adirondacks.

We humped right along until we came to the point where we split up. From there I decided to slow down to a crawl and still-hunt toward the area I wanted to sit. With the fresh snow it was pretty quiet and something inside me told me I was going to see a buck.

When I got into some thick spruce trees I found some fresh tracks. As I scanned the woods in front of me I didn’t see anything, but I could almost feel something watching me. I guess it’s that sixth sense you have as a deer hunter that comes to the surface every now and then.

I pushed the spruce limbs aside and slowly made my way out of the thick cover. ¬†When I broke into the open I looked in front of me when some commotion off to my left got my attention. Instantly I could see a buck running. It only took a second to see he had antlers so I decided to shoot. A few guys in camp said they wanted meat and with my limited time in the Adirondacks these days I decided I would take advantage of any opportunity that might present itself. I knew he wasn’t a big buck, but I still tried to locate him in my crosshairs. He went right into really thick cover. When he reappeared on the other side I saw him for a split second in my scope and pulled the trigger.

The air was dead calm and the shot echoed across the mountains in front of me. My ears rang as I fumbled through my pockets for my radio to call dad. When I got it out and clicked it on he was patiently waiting on the other end. He asked if I got him, so I replied, “I’m not sure. He was hauling ass. I’m pretty sure I got him because I thought I could hear him thrashing around after I shot. If you stay on the radio I’ll go take a look.”

When I got to the area I thought he was I began looking in the snow for blood. I only had to look for a second. He was laying dead under some thick spruce trees. He wasn’t anything too terribly big but he was still a nice little Adirondack 8-pointer.

Since it was only 7 o’clock I decided to take the rest of the morning and go pull all of my trail cameras. When I got to the first camera I was disappointed when there weren’t any pictures on it. When I got to the next one I could see that I had a buck on it, but the picture wasn’t good. It looked like a small buck. When I got home and blew it up on the computer I saw that it was actually a pretty nice buck. If you look closely you can see that he looks fairly wide and his body looks to be that of a mature deer.

By the time I got back to the deer my father was there. He told me he got a hold of my cousin Kyle and his buddies. They were on there way to help us drag it out. I was very thankful to hear the news. My dad saw 5 does when he was sitting, but no bucks followed them. He told me there was an unbelievable amount of sign in the area.

When the day came to a close dad and I were the only ones who saw any deer. Although this buck wasn’t anywhere near being a big one I found it very rewarding when I got him. When I used to spend every waking minute hunting in the Adirondacks I would have been disappointed to shoot a deer of this caliber, but this one was different. Without having the time to hunt like I once did I have to take advantage of the opportunities I get and hope to be able to capitalize on a few of them. I got to hunt a few new areas this year and I’ve learned a lot about both places. I feel this will put me in a good position to kill a big buck even if I’m limited to just hunting it a couple weekends a year. As the old UCLA legend, John Wooden, used to say, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” I surely have not failed to prepare and you make your own luck. I truly expect to shoot a few good Adirondack bucks in these new places in the future.

Here are a couple photos of the deer and the trail camera. You have to look close at the trail camera buck or click on it to blow it up.

 

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