There isn’t really a whole lot to report from opening weekend. We made it out both evenings. Saturday, there were more tractors and trucks out there, picking up the mowed clover. We also saw a guy walking in carrying a rifle- the area around Madison is shotgun only, and it’s only bow season. Not clear on what he was hunting. Matt took his climbing stand one way, I went another. I ended up sitting up in the tree where we placed one of our trailcams. It hadn’t captured anything, but I’d seen deer here a couple times. I saw another bow hunter walking in, and warned him about the guy with the rifle, and told him Matt’s location. Other than that, all I saw or heard was a little chipmunk, some bees, and a buck just across the nearby property line snorting at me. He would have been downwind of me, on the Christmas tree farm on the other side of the fence. We’ve seen them flee over there a number of times. By sundown, my butt was pretty sore.
Matt was the only one of us who saw deer that afternoon. He saw three does, all about 60 yards out, just out of his range. When I was walking out that night, I would see some eyes reflecting my flashlight. They were at the top of the hill I’d end up sitting on the next day.
Sunday, we got out a bit earlier in the afternoon. It was another fairly uneventful day. Matt kept to the same field, opting to sit in a popup blind. I took the ground on top of that hill, behind that portable blind I favor.
It had been raining all day long. On the walk back, I scared out turkeys (this seems to be a trend). If I’d had my bow ready, I might have had a chance to fill my tag. But I didn’t. We were out more than 45 minutes when we began to see other people. Kind of a lot of them, actually. I first saw another hunter wearing a white ballcap. With a rifle. He tromped back and forth down the cut line for the power lines you can see in the second photo. I saw him walk in front of me three times, during prime shooting hours. Matt and I would both hear gun shots alarmingly close to my location. To his practiced ear, they sounded like a .22 and a .410. I only knew they were smaller guns. After the genius with the white ballcap tromped back past me the third time, Matt told me he saw a pair of hikers on the access road. Not long after, they walked across the bottom of my hill, about 300 yards away.
I saw the one deer between the two of us yesterday. At the bottom of the hill, not too long after the hikers passed, I saw movement in a break in that line of pine trees you can see just right of center in the first photo above. Definitely a deer, and definitely a very large one. Without binoculars, I couldn’t see far enough to definitely say it was a buck. Eventually, it wandered off as well, and the rest of the evening passed uneventfully, except for hearing coyotes howling.
I have tonight off from the golf course. After I make a grocery run and pick up the house a bit, I want to make it out there, and sit in those pines. I’d like to also put a camera up in there. Who knows. Maybe I’ll have a little luck.