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FIRST opening day up the loc-on

Posted October 1st, 2011 at 07:40 PM by Creole

I did all I could to prepare for opening day. . . .backpack check, gear check. . . .

I went to TP Outdoors yesterday to purchase my license and a few other goodies for my first bowhunt up the loc-on I actually purchased a set of Under Armor glove liners in a size S--imagine that, they had a small size and they seemed to fit my hands. I debated about the face camo paint or a stretch head cover, and decided on the head cover. Headed out to David's and arrived about 7:00 pm. Hung all hunting gear outside and sprayed it with Fresh Earth cover scent; loaded the thermocell and did another check to be sure I had everything (including a Snickers candy bar, sentimental tribute to Daddy). Muzzy came by and visited with us a bit.

Early morning wake up call. . .I made a pot of coffee. Showered, brushed my teeth and prepared to go to the woods. David signed us in and we were off!

The morning was crisp. . .somewhat nippy but no wind! Clear, cold, absolutely beautiful opening morning to hunt, stars shining like diamonds on blue-black velvet; as we rode the Honda across the ditch, parked and walked in, I was grateful for the extra layer!

We arrived at the tree and David left me to walk on further down to hunt the flat. OK Creole, crunch time--let's see if we can make all this work. DAvid had secured my bow hanger and tied a pull cord for the bow on the foot rest of the loc on so I secured Ellie May for the haul up the tree. I tied my parachute cord to the backpack and hooked the end of the line onto the loop on my pants. Secured myself to the lifeline and began the climb.

Climbing in the dark is VERY different from an daytime climb. . .I went slowly, insuring that the prussic knot was above my head. I had a little flashlight in my mouth as I climbed (probably NOT the best safety situation), but at least it shed enough light to let me see the steps and move the knot. When I got to the loc on and stepped onto the platform I still had to get situated.

The life line was wonderful. I was very secure. However, now I had to deal with a backpack and a bow and get them up to me. I killed the flashlight and worked in the dark. . . .David had an old step with at strap and I found it, secured it and drew the backpack up. Once I was happy with the backpack, I hauled Ellie May up and settled in.

6:00 am. . .woods were just beginning to show daylight. I nocked an arrow, set Ellie May on the bow hanger, buckled my release on my wrist and waited for the daily salutation to the sun.

Sunrise in the woods is always a very spiritual moment for me, and this morning wasn't a disappointment. The hoot owls on the last prowl before daylight sang a solemn lament before the tweeties began the morning chorus. The view of the food plot from the loc-on was incredible and I was so grateful for David's help in setting me in this location. As the day brightened, I could see oats that had broken ground; then I saw the food plot which was COVERED in tracks, coming from all directions! I was pumped. . .maybe this am.

It WAS chilly and I was glad for the extra shirt/layer that I had donned before leaving David's. . . .I heard the rifle and shotgun booms of the tree rat hunters in the distance, but nothing moved. The woods were extremely quiet and still. I thought it unusual that I didn't even see a coon!

At 8:00 the sun had risen enough to warm me on the loc-on. As I thawed a bit, I ate my honey bun. . .I was hungry. Still nothing moved. . .no coons, no possums, no armadillos, NOTHING! I heard some yotes yelping over toward the ditch, but couldn't see anything. AT 8:30 the first skeeter zoomed by my eyes but I didn't crank the thermocell. A few minutes later, I heard a squirrel bark and then another answered him.
By 9:00, the temp had warmed, the sun beating directly down on me. I reached to pull off my glove and when my glove slid off my hand, *****, my release slipped off too, falling to the ground. Lesson learned. . . .won't make that mistake again.

About 9:15, I heard David whistle and saw him walking down the R/W. I began the downward descent and had no problems lowering the backpack or Ellie May. As we walked out, it was apparent that we need a bit of water for the food plot to take off.

No luck today, but each hunting experience teaches me more. . .and no opportunity to experience the beauty of the woods is ever wasted.

I could have hunted this pm, but I have a 6:00 am flight to SC tomorrow am. I packed up and headed home. David is hunting the "Honey Hole" this pm and I wish him the best of luck. I am fortunate and blessed to have a brother who will mentor and teach me.

Looking forward to hunting the Congaree in SC next weekend.

Remember, its not the kill, ITS THE HUNT!
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