Matt and I decided to head out Thursday night for deer. Figuring that most of the yahoos that run all over the place on the weekends probably hold down weekday jobs, we hoped that the deer had settled a bit.
I honestly wasn’t expecting must, given our abysmal luck so far. I didn’t even take pictures. It was about normal weather- high, thin clouds, a bit of sun. Mid 40s, temperature-wise- much warmer than Monday. The snow has melted off by now. The wind was straight out of the southwest. Matt took his normal spot (which has to be getting overused by now), and instead of trekking all the way to the back of the property, I opted to use the tree stand I found a couple weeks ago. Like I texted Matt, the wind was wrong for it, but since I didn’t expect to see anything, I wanted to at least be comfy.
Just in case of a fluke deer sighting, I put out some doe estrus in both my little resealable container, and I made a little trail of it in the field, to lure any bucks present closer. And then I sat. A little gray squirrel ended up getting quite close- I was still enough that he began climbing my pantleg before I moved my head and scared him.
And then I sat some more. Around 4:50, I drew just to see if I could see my sight pin. I could, sorta, so I gave it just a little longer. About ten minutes later I was thinking of finally packing it in, when I heard crunching behind me. Over my right shoulder. At first I dismissed it as the little squirrel, but then I listened closer- no scurrying, no digging. Slow steps. Deer.
I watched her come up the hill and sniff at my scent lure. I must have stepped in some of the stuff I dropped on the ground, because she followed my tracks. I haven’t seen a deer even remotely near me since September 25th or so. And here is a deer, no more than 20 yards out. I draw in silence. She doesn’t notice the movement. I look down my peep sight. Shit, I can’t see my sight pins. Right then, I should have let it back and not even tried, but I was too excited. I tried to eyeball it in the increasing darkness. And I missed. A near miss, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
She jogged away, only to come back closer. You have got to be kidding me. Hoping I might get lucky, I tried again, and missed. This time I think she finally winded me (she was downwind, after all) and bounded off in no real hurry, flag up. I found one of my two arrows in the dirt. I’ll have to look around for the other one in the daylight.
Matt didn’t see anything, but the trailcam he left up caught images, unfortunately, they’re all there while its dark. They’ve got to be in the rut by now, if this slight uptick in activity keeps up. Hopefully we do better this weekend- I might set up farther down that hill to catch one while it’s still light enough to shoot.
Anyhow. Tonight we’re packing for the ball. By the time this goes up, we’ll hopefully be on the road so I can make my appointments for hair and makeup on time. Friday night is for celebrating, so there won’t be any hunting stories (but hopefully nice pictures of us in something other than camouflage). We’ll head back down to Madison Saturday morning to hunt in the evening. We’re supposed to have warm weather, but rain. Hopefully it discourages some of the other hunters.