Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reflections from the deer stand...


Maine law requires two pieces of blaze orange. I did wear an orange hat over my ball cap, but that would have looked un-photogenic...

Opening day came and went this Saturday, but I took a notepad out with me and thought I'd write exactly what was on my mind from time to time. Here's what I came up with and thought I'd share it with you... Note this is exactly how it was written down from the stand...

2:20 p.m.- officially in the stand, didn't think my wife was ever going to make it home from quilting class. She was only ten minutes late but it seemed like an eternity, after all it is opening day and I didn't go duck hunting this morning.

Thought for sure I heard a snort on my way in, I waited about ten minutes before continuing moving ahead.

The wind is NW, it drops out then puffs up for a bit, I am sure the scent will be ineffective. I do spray doe estrus as an "attractive" cover up.

After 31 minutes of hunting last year I'm excited to get back out into the woods. It was very convenient last year, but I lost so much in doing so: decompression, learning, relaxation, thinking, analyzing the behavior processes of the deer herd.

I'm a little annoyed with the tree in my shooting lane... it's bowed over and the top of it is right where I fired upon last years spike horn. Tomorrow I'll clear that, if I get a second...



Why is opening day so special?
The excitement, clean slate, nature, eagerness, freezer waiting, cool afternoons, warm sun on my face, and that smell of the woods. The time alone out here is mine, there is no schedule and no reason to quit. My only restriction is day light.

Why only afternoons?
I have had very little luck in the morning hours and the deer move through my area in the afternoon as they transition from daytime bedding to feeding. Usually, I get at least one shooter passing through the lane each year. Finally, I'm duck hunting any available morning and I can't do both at the same time so I will do both on the same day if I can...

My time is limited this year. As a provider for my family, I've picked up another job that consumes two week days. In addition, an addendum was added to the teacher's contract that I must leave no sooner than 3 p.m. which combines with daylight savings time tomorrow. The result, very limited hunting time. Finally, next weekend is duck camp so no deer hunting while the one following has me committed to another job through Maine Medical Center. I will not be in the woods until Veterans Day next Tuesday the 11th...

3:04 p.m.- One thing I've brought this year new to my gear is a 12 inch piece of twine to tie my tag onto the deer after shooting. I've cut off straps, laces, cord from my grunt call, and from my hooded sweatshirt. This year I'm ready.

Being housebound is the worst feeling, I get so uptight, held back, and restricted. That is something I need to work on... patience...

The woods get me away, but not really. I hear dogs barking, vehicles along the main road, and kids outside from a distance. But there is also some crows, a lonely squirrel chirping four feet away, the wind shifting, creaking trees, the breezes coming in before the cool air touches your face.

The wind is still NW, I wish it would lean N or even NE. Today's hunt is all chance, scent will not work today, I'm at the mercy of that deer deciding to take my path.

3:50 p.m.- Ah, the wind did lean a little more north so I took last year's full bottle of doe in estrus and took the cover off. Quietly I tossed it westward trying to create a swarth of scent. We'll see...

5:15 p.m.- One shot fired from the Northwest, wind has dropped out, visibility diminishing, and temperature dropping. Won't be much longer.

5:35 p.m.- Sneak home quietly with my flashlight.

1 comment:

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

I noted the natives are getting restless . . . Cabelas says the sold out of Tinks 69 and most of their deer calls last week . . .