This past weekend, we only got out on Sunday. Matt was out Friday night, and was only able to drag himself to the pool function, and then home to nap. His brother, sister-in-law and their newborn stopped by in the afternoon. His brother announced that their grandfather had given him permission to plant 12 apple trees and some food plots on the land up north. We’ll be putting that in with them and the skidsteer next Spring, which is exciting.
We did a double today. The morning was for ducks and geese. Or it would have been, if we’d seen any. The closest any ducks were to us was maybe a quarter mile away. No geese flying, whatsoever. The only birds we got were some coots, which have a daily bag limit of 15. They’re plentiful little critters, even if they’re only really good for sausage making. The skins will be good taxidermy practice for Matt, and I’ll grind them up with some pork fat or something and smoke the sausage.
We got home around 10:30, after some gasoline-related mishaps at the launch (the truck was completely out and I had to walk a few blocks to the gas station). We showered, had coffee and brunch, and hung out for about two hours before heading out for deer in the afternoon and evening.
There was one truck in the parking area when we arrived around 1:30. Matt took his normal spot, and I opted to hike all the way to the back of the land. I haven’t hunted here since the last day of last season- which would have been early January, on a day that was about 10F. In nearly three feet of snow. But this is the field I harvested my first deer in.
On the way back, I finally saw some sign around a puddle in an old tire rut. There’s a couple puddles like this that never really fully evaporate, even in summer. The deer drink out of them all the time, since the nearest water source next to them is the creek all the way up by the road. There were all sizes of hoof prints with those from does and fawns/yearlings dominating. But there were a couple big ones, too.
In spite of this, I saw only a turkey hen, two bird hunters, and two people lollygagging around, walking the field edge right at 4pm. About 45 minutes before the sun set. They stopped at the entrance of every game trail, and stopped to wave at me, oblivious to my growing frustration.
The turkey and hunters at least came and went early in the afternoon. I sat in an old stand in the middle of the field- Monday hopefully I’ll get brave enough to use the climbing stand and get inside the tree line of this back field. Even if it’s a mile hike, uphill most of the way. I have to find the deer here at some point.