I had been out to my deer stand a couple of times during earlier bow season but today was the first day I was able to go out during Muzzleloader! As I parked 3 other trucks pulled up and were ready to hunt the same property. One was bow and the other two were muzzleloaders, but fortunately the property is large enough once we walked into the woods we didn’t really bother each other at all.
Early on in the morning I saw 3 does that walked close, but they chose a different path and I watched them walk by. About an hour after sunrise I heard a noise behind me and turned to look and see a buck walking down the walking path that I used that morning to walk in on. As he approached he stopped next to the creek for a quick drink and to look around. I was watching him pretty closely, a nice 4×4 young buck. He ended up taking a diverting path that turned him broadside at about 20 yards, and at that point I took my shot!
He ran up over the ridge and slowly walked out of site but I knew I had a good shot on him. I waited about 1 hour before getting down out of the tree stand and went and found him about 50 yards total from where he was standing when I pulled the trigger! Once I started field dressing the deer I noticed he had been shot before. He had another bullet hole (really low on his stomach) that had started to heal over, I assume it took place during the rifle season a couple of weeks before.
He isn’t the biggest buck in the world but for being on highly pressured public land I was not at all disappointed! After I started dragging the deer back to the truck it started snowing, big heavy flakes, kind of a cool scene to be apart of.
This morning I had to wake up early to take my brother to the airport and since he had to be there by 3:30 am I decided instead of going back to bed that I would use this opportunity to go sit in my deer stand and see if I could fill my tag!
I got to my stand earlier than needed but I always enjoy sitting out there in the dark waiting for the sun to come in complete silence. As I was out there before sunrise I could hear a pack of coyotes on the property but they never came close enough for me to see them.
The weather was good this morning, chilly but not cold temperatures, cloud cover and a slight breeze from the northwest. Right as the sun was coming up I started hearing a noise that was a little concerning to me… duck calls. My spot was on a property that had a small farm pond and it is a public hunting land so anyone could use the property. Usually this time of year a little place like that pond would be frozen over and the only water around would be the small stream running through the woods. But this year all the water was still wide open and available for use.
Right as shooting time opened up I started hearing the duck hunters pop off shots like crazy with ducks flying into their area and I saw a few group of mallards flying away. That was disappointing because my stand was only about 200 yards from the pond and with them popping off shots like that my chances of having a deer want to be anywhere near me went to about 0%. So I hung around in my stand for about an hour and then decided to start walking around the property to the other side and explore the areas I wasn’t as familiar with and hopefully happen upon a deer in the process that I could spot and stock.
Well no such luck with spotting a deer but I did run across a few really nice areas that I may set up in next year. I also came across an area where a lot of deer must have passed away in sometime throughout the past few years. I found about 10-15 different piles of bones in one ravine. They made for some good picture opportunities so I spent a while messing around in the woods looking at all the wildlife and bones that had inhabited the property.
I still like the hunting spot but so far this year in my two trips I have been interrupted by other hunters or people both times. I wish it would snow or freeze a little bit so that I would have more confidence that I may be the only one out there.
Better luck next time!