4PT16.14 – Keep Believing
It’s been a tough week. My wife left me and took my son with her (just for a few days), and every other hunter in Vermont has killed a deer while I impatiently wait for my turn. I’ve seen some real beauties posted on Facebook since the Saturday opener. I’ve even seen some pictures of nice bucks too!
Tonight I finished off the last of my frozen pizza while I tried to rethink my strategy for the season. The pizza was so good I had to convince myself it wasn’t delivery! Tomorrow I’ll probably buy another one. I need to do something to survive….my venison procurement this fall has been minimal. If I was living 200 years ago, I believe I’d be a vegetarian. Not by choice, mind you.
It’s no secret that my season hasn’t gone to plan. And to be quite honest, it’s starting to wear on me a bit. Each time I gear up and head to the woods, I have to fight off feelings of pessimism and press on. Somewhere out there is a big buck with my name on it. Or it could be a small buck at this point. Either one will do.
To date, I have hunted all day on Saturday and a little bit this morning and evening in Vermont. If I stop and think about it, that’s not a lot of time, and I have to keep telling myself to be patient. I am in an area with plenty of sign. It’s only a matter of time before I see something. There’s that darn word again – Time. I firmly believe that time is the single most important ingredient to successfully filling a tag, especially in this area of the country.
After reassessing my strategy, I have decided to keep pressing on the same course. I discovered an oak tree with very active feeding sign at the base of it this morning. The next chance I have to hunt I’ll climb back to the top of the ridge and put in more time near the tree. It’s just one of those seasons. I can either give up and watch football or keep at it.
I have not seen much for fresh scrapes recently. I believe the bucks are either cruising for does or locked down with one at this point.
The food source where I am hunting has been narrowed down to mainly acorns. The tree I discovered this morning with the fresh sign gives me some hope that I found an active area that a buck will cruise through hoping to find a doe.
Digiorno frozen pizza is actually good.
Each time a picture of a large buck is posted on Facebook, there are inevitably comments about how the antler restriction is responsible for the size of the buck’s antlers in the picture. Then arguments ensue. It’s entertaining. Next time I hunt I plan to shoot one large enough to continue the argument.
A mighty thank you to you all for following along on my adventures in the woods this fall. Thank you!
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I passed on a spike in Maine–90 pounds of deer on the hoof never looked so tempting. Probably decimated their gene pool. I do wish we were seeing more 3- and 4-year-old deer in VT, but statistically that is not the case. So, where does this perception of the spike rule working originate? Is it a rural legend perpetuated at deer hearings, kind of like the “shooting bred does” non-argument? (Every mature female bear shot in Vermont in season is bred already. Should we feel something different due to it’s condition?) Luckily for all, the 3-year study is over this… Read more »
The perception exists because hunters are more apt to share a picture of their big buck on social media than their small one. The amount of bigger bucks we see on FB does not provide an accurate representation of the true age structure of the harvest. The final harvest report will once again be very similar to that of the last few years…
And I hate to tell you, but we have one more year of the tooth study after this year.