♪ Shot In the Dark ♪ ♪

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.

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This deer appears to maybe have a scar on its hindquarter.

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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.

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9 thoughts on “♪ Shot In the Dark ♪ ♪

    • It was right after 5pm when I shot- I’m not sure even that would have helped. The sun had been down for 15-20 minutes at that point and it was hard to even make out the deer against the brush. It was a dumb shot to take. The scent that I dribbled on the ground was a Tink’s doe-in-heat scent. The scent in the little container was a mix- Tink’s, and then whatever mom’s friend back home used. I squirted some in to refresh it a couple times. But it’s estrous.

    • Well, we’ve got a couple cheapies that we picked up from random hunting sections. Most non-grocery stores in Wisconsin have small hunting sections at least. The one we’ve been using most is a Tasco one we got at Wal-Mart. It was $50, and the battery life is good, but the deer basically need to stand stock still in front of it, it’s slow. We like it the best out of what we have. We have 2 of Primos’ DPS, which is a really neat concept- it takes a picture every 5-15 seconds (you pick) during daylight hours, to capture movement trends. However, the software to then view the 1200 photos as a slideshow is awful. Slow and clunky. Matt had his eye on one at a Dick’s Sporting Goods, but I can’t remember the brand. We’re still trying to figure out one we like best.

        • Yikes! $500 is a lot. Is that the one that sends pictures to the cellphone? Matt wants one, to put up on the land up north so we can monitor it without driving 4 hours and spending $200 in gas. I could see something like that being useful when you can’t make it out to check on the camera a lot. But then you’re going to need probably a solar power source or something.

            • Yeah. I like the idea. And if you were wanting it to survey either a known busy area to inventory what animals you had, or to survey a place with high vis- say a large, open field; that would make it worth it to me, personally. I don’t know if I’d want to use one like that at somewhere like the public land we hunt, where half the time the images are other people and the other half we’re just guessing on camera location, hoping to capture something. Cause otherwise you’ll have this one expensive camera + the cell plan for it and nothing else.

              • If you don’t mind my .02 on cams; I’ve been really happy with the medium-to-higher-end stuff from Wildgame Innovations (I think the one we have the most of is called a Red 4). The Moultries have been okay, but they don’t seem to love being left out through the whole Canadian winter as much. They make great solar panels though, for around $50 if I recall (many cams will accept the panels..feeders too). Bushnell had a bunch of issues with cheap memory cards, but seem to be reliable these days.

                Which cellphone-ready ones do you see down there? The Canadian-made Uways come in a couple of hundred bucks less than the $500 thedeerslayerswife was talking about, and they have blackflash options now. I’ve never used one myself, but have heard lots of good feedback – including from our local steel mill, which uses them for an auxiliary security system.

                Anyway, great writing! Thanks for sharing! (Excessive cam feedback based on 8 or 9 years working at the inlaws’ hunting shop.)

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