Monday, November 21, 2016

Oh Deer...

...no deer once again. Went hunting again this weekend. I saw one the first day - a doe that was on the run from  other hunters. They saw me on my stand, which I got to at 0515-0530 (sunrise at about 0658). A group of five of them came by later, stopped a moment and chatted, as their leader a tall fat man shined his light right in my eyes. When I asked him to turn off he light because it was blinding me, he huffed and stomped away without saying another word as if I somehow had offended him. That was at about 0615. They then headed on to points unknown but as I later discovered with 100 yards of me and right in the direction I was facing with my back to an oak tree.  In other words, right in my line of fire had a deer passed between me and them. I found out where they had been from two ore of their buddies who came by my stand, did not stop or acknowledge me although I said good morning twice to alert them that they had walked right by me without noticing me. Later on, maybe 9 or 930, the younger of those two came over to my stand when I was off about 50 yards answering the call of nature and watering the forest. He walked right up to my day pack and seemed about to take a look and saw me staring at him. he then walked away and set up not 30 yards from me right in the path of my deer scent pads. What a dick. At about 10 AM someone took a shot at a deer but not before the knucklehead closest to me jumped up, shouldered his rifle with a cacophony of rustling, metal clinking, sling swooshing, branch breaking noises, then gave  good stare through his scope and sighed and sat down again. About a minute later, someone else took that shot at a doe. The doe came bounding by us but he apparently did not see it, nor did his buddy who was maybe 10 yards further off in the woods, again in my line of fire from my stand. I had realized he was there cause I saw a tiny patch of his blaze orange vest through the brush. I did not want to chance a shot should one of the other arsehats be in the way. Within the next 5 minutes two more shots, from what sounded like the same gun went off.  Shortly after that one of the original five left the area trudging past my stand. Then the two guys who came last and sat closest to me left. They stopped for a minute and the older one explained that one of the other guys, and not him as I had thought, took those shots but missed all 5 does. Did someone take aim at all five does at once! As he was explaining tat to me, the remaining four of the original five also left leaving me happy to be rid of them. I hoped they would spook a deer my way as they left but no such luck. Hunting on state land can be an adventure full of arsehats.

Saw two deer on the second day - one that truly looked like a ghost because a gust of wind had blown a ton of snow out of the pines we were under. It was broadside to me at about only 20 to 25 yards. Another gust of wind with a ton more snow blowing around and it was gone. I tried coaxing it into sight again but no luck. Not sure if it was a buck or doe because of how badly vision was hampered by all that snow but it was a big one which I will say was a doe because I did not see antlers. The second one on day two was within about 100 to 125 yards away. I had just stopped, one of my many pauses, walking along in my in mile per every two hours or so mode and wham my cell phone goes off. I forgot to turn off the sound. I did that and admonished myself for being a moron. I waited a it, took a step or three and that second deer bolted from that far out so I am pretty certain the cell phone had already startled it and had it zeroed in on my position. Almost as soon as I moved it ran. It didn't seem o move to far, got behind some brush but did not come out the other side. I waited a good 15 to 20 minutes and tried to coax it out with some calls but no luck. I also saw a lot of deer tracks in the snow on Sunday.

Speaking of snow and thus the weather, on Saturday it had to have been in the low sixties. I got a bit of a sunburn on my face for the 20 minutes or so I sat in the sun around 1PM. Later when I left the area, the thermometer in my car registered 58, that was just after sunset and it had already been cooling quite a bit. On Sunday, it snowed on and off all day. I got to the hunting area around 11AM (yep late but I needed to sleep in cause the day before in the heat spell knocked me out) at the same time in the afternoon, the temp was 29 and it had not cooled anything noticeable all afternoon. Yes, Sunday was pretty cold compared to the day before and the winds were reportedly fairly steady at about 15 with gusts to 44, although I am pretty sure they might have one higher. As I was packing the car to leave, I suddenly heard what I can only say was a train speeding down the tracks. No trains or trucks around - nothing to make noise like that except the wind and I got worried about maybe a mini-twister. Next thing I knew, a gust of truly huge size went by nearby, I could see the trees swaying madly but where I stood it was almost nothing. I guess that had been the noise cause it was pretty quiet, relatively speaking, after that. Never heard of that sound attributed to anything but a tornado or a train, now I know it can come with much lesser winds.

One other note, when I was getting my stuff out of my car to go out hunting, on Sunday at 11, a vehicle drove up behind me and stopped a few feet away, not in a regular parking spot on the state land I was hunting. I turned cautiously and ready for an asshole and it turned out it was the state game gendarmerie, aka: an officer of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. First time I have ever seen on in that area. He got out, asked if I was coming or going, asked If the rifle he plainly saw in my trunk was loaded. I said it was not - he checked anyway which was okay by me. Then asked to see my hunting license at which time I informed him I was a retired LEO and was strapped. I wanted to make sure should I grab for the wallet and he saw my mg pouch of holster he did not think I was going for a gun. He checked my license and talked for a bit. Nice guy, Eric something or other (I am bad at names). As we were talking, two other hunters were leaving and he did likewise with them. I went off to hunt.

Later on Sunday, after my half day in the woods, just before I pulled out of the parking area, a couple of other hunters came out of the woods and asked if I had seen anything. When I said I had seen two does they were amazed an said that was excellent cause they had not seen anything. Then I mentioned I had seen lots of deer tracks and they seemed to think I was full of shit because they said they had not seen any. I described where I had seen most of them and that they were fresh in the snow which had not been there yesterday and they just gave me that hairy eyeball kind of a look you give a bull shitter. I don't know about them, but I can across at least 15 to 20 different sets of tracks, some with two to three deer in a set. I also followed two sets of hunters tracks in the snow - boot tracks that stepped on many a deer track! I plan to go back there this coming weekend, hopefully Brendan will come along this time. Now if only I knew which way those deer had been traveling; I have little experience tracking them in the snow, and it's been years since I tried it and I'll be damned if I could remember. Anyway, I will be studying that online this week to see in which direction they make their drag marks in the snow.

That is all.

All the best,
Glenn B

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