Conditions: 65 degrees at the start, 50 degrees at the end. Sunny with a light breeze.
The season finally arrived and I was able to get out this afternoon with Dad for an evening sit. Here is the recap-
1:50 pm: I drag my lazy rear end off the couch and gather up my gear. I had all year to do this, but I always seem to wait until last minute. Treestand, Harness, saw, knife, rope, bow...check. I threw everything in the back of my truck and headed to meet Dad for some last minute shooting. It was good to get my treestand out of the shed because that will be one less thing I have to move when I finally get around to organizing it.
2:18 pm: I meet up with Dad and Josh. Dad informs me that he is "good to go" and Josh doesn't shoot because his shoulder is hurting. I shoot for about 20 minutes and I too decide that I am "good to go". We pack everything back up and I follow Dad halfway to our destination and he rides with me the rest of the way from there.
3:10 pm: Dad and I inspect his ladder stand and it all seems intact except for the 1"thick puddle of pitch on the seat. I yank one big branch down that was hanging from another tree and we move on. I checked the trail camera by his stand and it was not working. The batteries were dead. After this we head over and check the other cameras that were close by. There was another picture of the six pointer we have been getting all year. He has now shed his velvet and doesn't look as impressive...I study the picture and decide that I will still shoot him if given the opportunity. There is also a picture of a funky 3 pointer still in velvet. I decide that I will not shoot him if given the chance.
3:44 pm: Dad and I make our way down to the "secluded tree" to set up my tree stand. I had originally intended to use the minimalist approach to trimming branches but that didn't pan out. After 20 minutes of sawing, and a small clear cut later, I announce that I am "good to go". Dad heads back up the hill to his stand and I do a little more exploring. I found a monster track which fed my imagination for the next 3 hours. I snap a blurry picture and decide I will insert it into a blog post later.
5:11 pm: I discover that the secluded tree is not all that secluded. A herd of humans come marching down through the woods with a couple dogs in tow...Obviously out on a hike, they take their sweet time moving through the area. My enthusiasm tanks and I contemplate getting down so I can hunt an area with less humans. I decide against it.
6:21 pm: There is a rustle in the leaves behind me and my heart starts racing. Turns out to be a squirrel and it steals an apple from the tree. It was the highlight of my night as far as wild animals go.
7:09 pm: I get down from the tree and meet Dad back at the truck. He passed on a small button buck at 20 yards. I am extremely proud of his self control and a small tear wells up in my eye. I also scared a deer on the way back to the truck and watched its silhouette disappear into the brush through my binoculars. I liken it to getting a birdie on the 18th hole of a sub-par golf round. It's just enough to make you forget the bad shots (or herd of humans) and keep you excited until you can get out again.
8:00 pm: I arrive home to a wife canning tomato sauce, a little boy in bed, and a floor that needs mopping.