With a decent buck on the ground early in the season I had a little extra spare time around the house to try something I’ve always wanted to do – a European Mount. The buck was nice but he wasn’t big enough to tempt me to have him mounted so I set to work researching what I needed to complete a European Mount on my own. Through research (I watched one video on YouTube) I learned that I only needed a big pot, a hot flame, some bleach crème from a salon store and some small hand tools.
By Brandon Reed
Wednesday morning October 8th I woke just like many weekdays to get ready for work. Coffee made, dog fed, dog walked then back to have coffee and breakfast while watching the news. This past Wednesday when I turned on the TV it was still on the outdoor channel from the evening before. There was a show on called Real Life Stories/Tragedies...I think that's the name. Basically, it’s a show about people who have near death or life changing experiences. The episode on that morning was about a man who went off on a morning of fishing. He never told his wife, or anyone, for that matter where he would be.
You know the Christmas song titled “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? I can’t help but think of that song as we head into the best time of year for hunting deer. The temperatures are dropping, the bucks are more active as they search for does and they are not opposed to responding to calls from time to time.…
Tonight I am sitting in a new place along an ancient stonewall that cuts a straight line through towering oak trees that may be almost as old as the wall. Their very existence reminds me that I am not the only one to ever step foot here. Someone, a long time ago, placed each one of these stones by hand for some reason. If they could speak I wonder what they would say. And the old oaks that have watched this wall crumble over the years - I wonder what they would say.
Maybe they would tell stories of guys like me who sat in this same spot for hours on end. I can almost imagine an old man sitting on the wall under the big oak as the sun sets over the ridge behind him. His tired shoulders and weathered face tell me everything I imagine he’s thinking. After a long day of work and a hard life he’s come up to his favorite pile of rocks to sit and think. He’s thinking about his wife and kids, his work, and his faith. Before long I realize that I’m staring at a reflection of my older self.
Well, let’s just say it’s been a slow start to the season. The busyness of the summer had left me with no time to scout so when the archery season opened on the 15th I headed to the woods with only the history of previous years to use in determining where to sit. When I arrived at the property I noticed a heavy crop of apples. Normally this is a good thing –but after a few hunts I am not so sure. Here is a recap of my first four hunts and what I have learned so far.
Hunt 1: September 15th – When opening day arrived I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to hunt. On Monday's my wife has to work late so that means I am on childcare duty but a last minute offer by my mother to watch Sam allowed me to head to the woods. With no scouting under my belt my gut was telling me to head to a permanent stand that has produced many deer in the past. However, my sore toe told me to head to another permanent stand a little closer to the truck so that’s what I did. I ended up seeing three deer that evening. One was a spike still in velvet and I couldn’t tell what the other two were. The evening ended without any of them wandering close enough for a shot and I headed home wondering what I’d find when I eventually made it further into the woods.
Hunt 2: September 17th – On this evening my toe and my gut told me to head back to the same stand. After all, I had seen three deer from it the evening before and there were droppings all around it. Surely something would come in. But as darkness fell and with no deer sightings for the evening I left still wondering what was deeper in the woods. I had arrived a little earlier than the last hunt which gave me some time to scout around a bit, although still not very far from the truck. I discovered an oak loaded with acorns which made me even more curious. Acorns are a double edged sword in my opinion.