My deer season has gotten off to a slow start, there is no denying that. New Hampshire archery season opened on September 15th, but I was not able to hunt for the first time until the 25th and it was in an absolute downpour. It was a halfhearted attempt because of the weather, and I was mostly interested in taking the opportunity to check some trail cameras I’d set out a few weeks prior anyway.
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.
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.
Once again we have reached the start of a new hunting season, and once again I am unprepared. Go figure. It sneaks up on me every year!
Thursday evening, opening day or archery in New Hampshire, I was able to head to the woods unexpectedly thanks to my wife’s willingness to rearrange her schedule. I have done zero scouting to date, so my plan for the first night was to wander through the woods to see if I could spot anything interesting on my way to an old faithful ladder stand. I saw some tracks and plenty of nuts, indicating that it could be another difficult year to pattern the deer thanks to an abundance of food. A plethora of food is good for the deer, but it sure can make them hard to hunt.
Fawns. They taste good, but I generally try to avoid shooting them. The emotional toll it puts on a hunter is almost too much to bear this day and age. Not only will your buddies give you a hard time, but you’ll be just about crucified on the internet.
On the other hand, the harvest of fawns can provide some useful data on the health of the deer herd. Just ask someone who knows what they are talking about if you disagree. Today, I plan to use some of that data to reveal an interesting pattern that might help predict the harvest for future hunting seasons. Once I’m done explaining everything I didn’t know, you’ll likely file this information in your own “Everything I didn’t need to know” category.