Weeknight Hunting

Yesterday was a cold, drizzly day. I planned my day around getting some stuff done in the morning, and then heading to work at 2. While I was at the gym, my boss texted me- called off again. After the hours I put in all summer (12 nights in a row closing a couple times), and all the shift covering (closing a Saturday night, with one hour’s notice!) I did, it’s really nice to get some nights off now. So, I ran a couple errands, grabbed my gear out of Matt’s truck, and off I went.

We’ve both been having a lot of other random yahoos walking all over, ruining our hunts, right? Well, after seeing next to nothing on the trailcams in the fields (except for a turkey), I decided I was going to set up down in the trees. I did some reading up on deer movement, etc. I chose to set up on a little ravine that cuts across the parcel- running from a copse of small trees where we saw bedding sign during Spring turkey season, across an alfalfa field, through the woods, and to the neighboring Christmas tree farm, where I’ve seen the deer flee on a number of occasions.

Expertly notated in MSPaint

Expertly notated in MSPaint

I got in a little after three and set up. It’s been raining for the last 4 days, pretty much. Once I got into the brush off the access road, I saw a decent number of deer trails, and they had some prints on them, though not as many as we saw in Spring and Summer. I made my way back to the draw as quietly as I could, and set up my stool and blind against the trunk of a dead oak.

Looking southwest towards that alfalfa field.

Looking southwest towards that alfalfa field.

Looking straight across at the steeper side of the ravine and a game trail

Looking straight across at the steeper side of the ravine and a game trail

 

Parts of an old tree stand ladder. Must be and OK spot.

Parts of an old tree stand ladder. Must be and OK spot.

A lot of the trees down here are suitable for a climbing tree stand. We’re even thinking of getting a light hang-on stand and some climbing sticks to use. Hunting up in a tree down here would really be helpful. All I saw yesterday was fat squirrels. No deer. But being up in the woods, off the main path didn’t mean I wasn’t disturbed by inconsiderate jerks.

After I’d been out for a little over an hour, two guys looking to be roughly my age walked up the access path towards the back of the property, carrying squirrel rifles. Kicking leavings, walking and talking loudly. They didn’t see me. But they would walk back down the access path, and then back up and down, passing me a total of 4 times, being loud all the way.

It got dark in the trees faster than it did in the fields on the hilltop, so when I walked out, I moseyed and looked for sign. There are hoof prints, and a few big ones were a couple days old. Mostly, though, they’re smaller ones- does and yearlings, I would guess. And I saw a deer near where Matt puts his blind on my way out.

We have the weekend to hunt yet, too. Matt will be out for ducks tonight, and tomorrow I would guess we’ll go after both ducks and deer. It’s finally autumnally chilly up here, so hopefully they’re moving. If I hunt this side of the hill again, I might try closer to either end of the ravine, if I can. If not that, I may try down in the oak trees closer to the main parking area. I really am getting impatient for the rut to start, so the deer start running around like dumbasses.

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