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10/1/2012: Season Opener

Posted October 2nd, 2012 at 08:49 PM by Skewerer

Well, it's finally here. My game plan for opening day would be predicated by some scouting done on Sunday, 9/30. The weekend of 9/22-9/23 I had gone with my brother-in-law, Mitchell to hang a stand along a ditch which ran out into a milo field. I had blogged about seeing a big buck out in this field previously, and my plan was to set the stand up as an observation stand and then move to where the deer came out into the field for opening day.

On the afternoon of 9/30, I was up in the sycamore tree waiting for deer to enter the field. The wind was out of the north (completely wrong) and blowing so hard that I felt as if I had to hang on for dear life. I told myself that as soon as I saw a good buck enter the field that I'd call it quits and slip back out without spooking him.

Sure enough, at 5:45 p.m. I spotted a large-bodied buck leaving the CRP 600 yards away. He had a wide, heavy rack with short tines. I recognized the buck as the same one I'd jumped along that CRP a few weeks previously when out checking cameras during my survey. It had also been around 5:30 p.m. that afternoon. My plan for opening day was set.

Opening day, I had to work, but I sneaked out of the office at 3:30 p.m. By 4:45 p.m., I was camo-clad and heading to my spot in the CRP. I carried a small stool to sit on as well as some small shears for pruning away brush. On my way in I jumped a couple of fawns, but they headed for the opposite direction from where I was expecting the buck.

Finally, I made it to my area and quickly set up next to a small sweet gum tree just inside the edge of the CRP. The dense foliage created a nice backdrop and I was perfectly camouflaged. After arranging all of my gear, I settled in for wait. The weather was perfect, and I anticipated an eventful evening.

Overall, the evening was a bit of a disappointment. I saw a handful of does and fawns enter the field to feed on the green sprigs of volunteer milo. Only one buck, a young spike, was seen. Where were the bucks? Big boy proved to be a no show.

On a positive note, the deer in the field never busted me or winded me. I had one doe come within 15 yards of my set, but I wasn't trying to shoot a slickhead--I had horns on the mind. Something had spooked her along with a few other deer in the field causing her to run toward me (see pic of running doe). I'm not sure if it was a bobcat, coyote, or just her paranoia that had her shaken up.

While my hunt didn't end in a blood trail, I couldn't stop thinking how good it felt to be back in my camouflage, bow in hand. Life is good. Can't wait for hunt #2.
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