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.
It’s true, I finally shot a deer. It wasn’t the biggest deer, but hey, it was a great time in the woods. The kill was extremely quick and clean. What more could I ask for?
I was perched in an oak tree over some very fresh sign from deer feeding on acorns. The leaves were all torn up and a fresh rub was twenty yards to my left. The weather had finally turned blustery with snowflakes striking my face as the wind carried them past me. To put it bluntly, it was awesome. So much anticipation wrapped up in one hunt.
I finally figured out what it is about turkeys that drives me nuts. It’s the way they look at you out of the side of their head – beaks pointing one way, eyeballs another. Woodchucks do the same thing. They appear to be looking one way, but you know they are actually looking at you. It’s aggravating.
Tuesday I found myself hunting an old reliable property for the first time this year. As I was getting dressed beside the truck I heard walking noises in the leaves. The newly fresh fallen leaves made for loud, crunchy walking. I love that sound. I slowly turned around and saw a turkey head bopping through the woods. Decision time. Am I on a deer hunt or a turkey hunt?
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?