Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Deer Hunt

It was depradation time in July. It just doesn't seem right to hunt deer this time of the year.   Even the early morning at 4 AM  was hot. Out of the house by 5 AM and walking into the woods at 6 AM, I was covered in sweat.  Trying to find clothing the previous night that was not thermal, insulated, but dark in color was something difficult to find.  The mosquitoes were horrible and just seemed to be in clouds.  The buzzing was enough to drive a person crazy.  How did  Lewis and Clark deal with this when they came up the river?

The Thermacel Mosquito Repellent slowly did its job, and after about five minutes they left me alone.  The air was thick.  I could barely see through the timber as entering it became instantly dark under the canopy of leaves.  Finding a place to sit was not a problem.  Up against an old dead tree my head and shoulders just stood above the standing grass in the area I found.  I saw some shadows moving below me and in front of me along the deer run, but it was just too dark to shoot at anything without confirming what it was.  More than likely it was a deer.

As the sun came up behind the clouds, it provided just enough light to make out anything that moved.  And moved it did. Right in front of me, not more than twenty yards, a nice big doe moved quickly through the timber.  The gun was up, but I couldn't get a bead on her.  She was gone.  Ten minutes later, another doe appeared almost in the exact same place, but I failed to get a shot.  Their appearance was brief as they came into the timber.  I tried holding the gun to my shoulder, but that did not work.  I failed to bring a shooting stick to rest the rifle on.  That was a mistake to forget that piece of equipment.  At least I was seeing animals. 

The decision was made to move to a spot in the general area where I had better visibility rather than dealing with the fleeting glimpses I was getting.  That produced nothing.  By 7:30 the sun was high enough to provide adequate light below the canopy of the woods.  I moved up hill along the edge of the deer run.  My reasoning was if they moved along the run, I could get a good shot regardless of the direction they were heading.  By 8:30 nothing was produced, and I took off for location # 2.

It took about 30 minutes to get to the spot.  I faced northwest and the wind was right in my face.  This was great as I needed to cool off.  There was a downed tree that I sat on and another one just chest high that I laid the gun on.  Thirty yards inside the timber, the landowner said he had seen some deer traversing the area.  The land rose in front of me and then sloped down to the pasture on the opposite side.  I would be able to see animals as they crested the ridge.  The sun would be in their faces and behind mine.  It did not take long.

A young doe crested the ridge and came directly toward me.  She could not see me or wind me as the wind was in my face.  I took the shot and dropped the animal about fifteen yards from where I sat.  I did not move, but waited.  Not more than ninety seconds went by before a head peeked up over the ridge.  She saw nothing.  I sat and waited.  Deer are curious creatures.  The doe came up to the top of the ridge about 30 yards from my position.  She stood there looking toward my position at a 45 degree angle to me, and the shot was taken.  Number two was in the bag.  I waited some more, and then my phone rang.  It was the landowner and he said "Is that you doing all that shooting?"  "Of course", I replied, and added that we needed the loader to haul the deer to my truck.  He came immediately.

In 30 minutes both were field dressed and loaded into the back of my truck.  I headed to a quick shop for ice and then the locker plant. 

This was a great morning, and I drank at least a liter of water driving into Omaha.

Last February I bought a new scope for the rifle.  This gun will be the one I take to Wyoming in September for an Elk and Bear hunt with Bob Barlow of Barlow Outfitting.  Even though the scope had been sighted in, there is nothing like trying it out on a hunt to find out how it really works.  I was very pleased.  I was able to acquire the target immediately, and it gathered light well.  Follow this link to take a look at Bass Pro. Nikon Monarchâ„¢ Rifle Scope - 2.5-10x42 Nikoplex

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank

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Text 07/31/11

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