Have you ever shot a deer and wondered where it came from or what it was doing before it showed up at your stand? I know I have. Maybe it’s the never ending drive to understand these creatures and what makes them tick. The way I see it, the more I can learn about the game I’m after, the better my odds of success on future hunts. In the case of my dad’s Vermont Rifle buck, I had the unique experience of knowing exactly what his deer was up to during the last hour and a half of his existence. Why? Because I was following him, that’s why!
Someday, I am going to devote an entire article on the most important ingredient required for a successful hunt. The ingredient? Time.
I can’t remember a year when I have hunted over such an active scrape line, complete with fresh rubs and extending over 650 yards. It felt like I was finding fresh sign each time I hunted it. As near as I can tell, the scrape line leads to his bedding area and he checks them during the night. This works out well for him but not for me. Big bucks can be very frustrating.
“For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game!”
How many strikes do you get when deer hunting before you are out? Is it three just like in baseball? I hope so because that means I’m still in the game.
The story goes like this. I had only been in position for about twenty minutes when a deer decided to run through the ravine below me. It was a fine doe, all alone and a looking tasty. I’m not sure what made her run by me, but she stopped fifty yards away with her butt end facing me. Those in Texas refer to this shot as the “Texas heart shot.” Or is it us hunters in the north that refer to it that way? I don’t know, either. I’ve always been told that’s what it’s called. I wonder if hunters in Texas know this?
My preseason plan is in danger of completely falling apart. I was supposed to have a New Hampshire archery deer in the freezer already and well on my way to a Vermont archery deer. I haven’t seen much of anything in New Hampshire but did come close one night (Stupid Wind), and blew a chance in Vermont when my arrow hit a sapling (Broken Arrow). Rough start.
Despite two opportunities, the season has yet to have any real excitement to it. I have all sorts of excuses reasons for why this is the case, but at the risk of sounding like a whiner I don’t want to mention the warm weather, excessive amounts of food, and lack of quality time to invest. In New Hampshire, these same reasons (except for time) are used to explain the 23% drop in archery harvest over last year at this same time. At least I’m not alone, right?
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Everything was playing out perfectly. At least it was until I got involved.
Vermont Archery season opened this past Saturday and with it a renewed excitement over the thought of hunting in some new scenery. New Hampshire has been fun, but I haven’t had any luck over there yet. Vermont, I was convinced, would bring a change in the action.