A lot has transpired since my last update, some of it even related to hunting. Each summer I enter each fall dreaming of hunting day in and day out until shooting Mr. Big. At this point in the season, I’d settle for being able to sleep long enough to dream. The arrival of Oliver Jacob Biebel late last week has derailed my hunting and sleeping schedule, but I’m not complaining.
It should come as no surprise that I blew my first opportunity at a deer this year, but after nine months of waiting for the opportunity, I don’t have any regrets.
New Hampshire archery season opened last Friday the 15th, and with it enough anticipation to distract a fellow from his duties at work. I must say, I was slightly more productive than I thought I’d be during the day and the afternoon couldn’t come soon enough. There would be no afternoon hunt for me, but I was able to get out long enough to pick a tree for my climber and get it set for the following morning’s hunt.
My increase in concern over how much time I’ll have to hunt this fall is inversely related to the decrease in time until Baby Biebel arrives. My concern hit an all-time high this past weekend when I made my first scouting trip of the season. It’s hard to adequately describe the feelings of anticipation that I feel when standing over a pile of deer poop in an acorn infested stand of oaks. Knowing Mr. Big roams through this area, even if at night, is enough to get my heart rate up. That, and the mile-long hike to get there.
Ending the season with unfilled tags is not a failure, but not learning from your mistakes is. As I reflect on the past season, I am still trying to determine what mistakes, if any, I made. I am not talking about lazy mistakes, such as not paying attention at a critical time. I made plenty of those. I’m referring to strategic mistakes like interpreting sign wrong, moving too often, and hunting the same areas over and over to name a few.
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.