4PT16.7 – A Feathered Foe and Whitetail Doe

Whitetail Deer

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?

As hard as it was, I decided to focus on deer for the evening. Unless, of course, I happened to find myself within range of a turkey. Then I would focus on turkey. It just so happens that I found myself within range of a bird not far from the truck. I’d climbed up one side of a rocky ridgeline as they simultaneously climbed the other side. We met at the top.

I knocked an arrow, still unsure if I wanted to send $33 downrange at one of the feathered foes in front of me. I really didn’t want to, but that aggravating look they kept giving me (or were they?) was enough to tempt me further. I realized I could save $8.33 if I replaced the arrow on my string with one that didn’t have a lighted nock, so I did that while the birds continued to give me the evil eye. But I still couldn’t bring myself to do it, and I let them go without so much as a scare. They clucked and puttered down the side of the hill unaware at the silent assassin above them. BIRD BRAINS! Good riddance.

The rest of the evening I was determined to carry out my plan that I outlined on the blog Monday. I tiptoed through the leaves as best I could to try and gauge the deer activity in the area. The new blanket of leaves made it very difficult to see fresh sign. By the end of my scouting mission I ended up back where I was planning to sit from the start of my hunt.

As the sun set, I heard a deer walking in the dry leaves. What a great sound. I located a nice doe working her way down a hillside across the ravine from me, feeding casually on nuts but headed slowly in my direction. Then she stopped and laid down. She never moved again. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t even get her attention long enough to look in my direction. The worst part is had I brought my climber with me (I left it in the truck), I would have been perched twenty-five yards above her in a tree I’ve hunted from many times.   

I eased out of the area at dark and never heard her run. Her reluctance to move reminded me of myself on the couch on a Sunday afternoon. Speaking of Sunday afternoon, that may be the next time I can get back out in the woods. I plan to bring my climber this time, and I hope the doe comes back.

Tim FaceThis time of year is unbelievably beautiful. Don’t be so busy you miss it! 

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