It’s 4am and I am awakened by my alarm again. Sunday, my day off… Well I wasn’t really sleeping was I? It’s deer season after all. Ok I get up and head to the kitchen to make coffee. Get dressed while waiting for coffee, then load the truck with enough crap to keep an entire tribe alive for weeks while drinking coffee.
I am starting to see a trend here, nope it’s about hunting not coffee.
Once again I drive away in the dark, heading to one of my many favorite haunts to look for deer. As usual I get here in plenty of time to sit in the truck and drink, you got it, more coffee.
So I sit here and wait for enough light to see. Or until the coffee kicks in and I have to water the trees which ever comes first.
OK, I am off. I walk the canyons slowly pausing every few steps which is my prefered method of hunting.
I would sit and wait if I had more confidence in the area I am hunting, but things being what they are I still hunt instead. I often pause for a little while when there is a good vantage point, but I wouldn’t call it stand hunting as I quickly get antsy and have to move on. I walk down what looks like a good canyon, well actually it’s more of a draw than a canyon and I find a decent looking trail with some tracks in the soft powdery dirt.
The tracks look like they were recent so I find a good vantage and settle in for a few minutes to watch the trail.
After a sort while I decide that the view from the top of the next little rise will be better and give up on the spot. I get to the top of the next rise, then the next and so on. next thing you know I am back at my truck. I make my way slowly back to the exit from this area, checking canyons as I go.
As I make my way out of the area I meet up with another hunter who has been in a canyon directly across from my original position. He reports seeing two bucks moving out of the area where I was at a high rate of speed, one of them a 5 point. Huh, I didn’t even hear them running away. Obviously they heard me.
Well I make my way out and go home. 9am now and already the temperature is pushing into the 70s. Well maybe tomorrow.
Monday starts much the same as Sunday. 4am ish start time, too much coffee and I am off.
This time I head for a small farming community near where I live. I know there are tons of deer there, but this is mostly private land and I have to be careful not to find myself trespassing. I loop through several side areas just off the hiway. Areas that I know have small areas of BLM land.
I see many deer, most on private land or on open ground where I have no chance of sneaking up on them.
I decide to go to a small canyon nearby which has year round water in it. I have often seen deer, elk and even wild hogs here, so I think it may be worth a try.
I arrive at the head of the canyon and suit up, then off I go in my usual fashion. Walking, stopping for a while to look around then walking some more.
I get a short distance into the canyon and notice a deer hiding in a choke cherry bush about 50yrds away. I stalk in a little closer using the juniper trees as cover and amazingly the deer is still there.
Much to my surprise The deer is not alone. There are two of them, both bucks and they are only 20yrds away now. Holy crap!
I nock an arrow and draw my bow. I expect them both to bolt any second, or the wind to shift, or….. but amazingly they stay there and continue eating choke cherries.
I release the arrow and YES! Contact, right in the kill zone.
The buck jumps and makes to bolt but gets caught on a barbed wire fence, which holds him there a few seconds. Then he collapses rolling down the steep hill into the cherry bush. Unbelievable!!
It’s been a long time since things went that right for me during bow season. I usually see several nice deer during the season, and even shoot at a few, but this seems surreal like a dream or something. It doesn’t seem real.
After a short time I go to see my prize close up. I could hear him breathing from where I waited and I know he has been dead for 5 minutes, but still I am cautious. Those antlers look sharp and I know those hooves would hurt if I got kicked by one.
I walk up on him and sure enough he is stone dead. I free him from the bush with much hard work, and set about quartering him and hiking him out of the canyon. This takes awhile as I am alone this trip.
Getting him to the truck ofcourse, is only the start of the hard work, I still have to cut him up, and get him in the freezer.
I would hang the meat for awhile to tenderize it, but with the temperature forecast in the high 80s, it is too risky as I don’t have a cold room.
I finally get the deer home and my wife is waiting with the wrapping paper and wrapping table all set up. What would I do without her? Pam is the most awsome partner a man could have, and damn sexy too.. 🙂
We work quickly and efficiently and have the deer cut, wrapped and in the freezer in about 3hrs. Man that was a lot of work, but soon enough it is dinner time and all that work is justified in fine fashion.
Success at last. Oh man what a feeling. I guess persistence really does pay off.
There is always alot to do to get ready for the Archery deer opener. I have been scouting ofcourse and I have seen alot of game and some outstanding bucks (mostly due to the large wildfires that have burned up some private ranches forcing the deer onto public land).
I am not complaining ofcourse, but with the activity and the fires it is hard to pick a spot or put together a specific strategy.
I finally broke out the bow and shot a few practice arrows yesterday. I hit the target, but didn’t get the grouping I wanted. I guess I need to practice a bit more. Every year I do this and it never turns out well. I wait until the last moment to practice with my bow, then when I get a shot (and I usually do) I miss. No excuses, just miss. Then I swear that next year I will practice more. Well,,yeah.
Anyway, I am practicing now and getting my gear together. I organized the toolbox on my truck yesterday so I will have the things I need if I get a deer down. Ie.. Rope, Winch, Saw, Gamble, Tarps etc…
I had been thinking of using my tree stand, but as I have not decided where to hunt, that too will have to be last minute.
As for the gear, I still have about a week to get myself together, and maybe get a few more scouting trips in.
The main thing is practice, practice, practice!