Day two broke into a beautiful morning. Temps were expected to be in the 50s during the day and upper 30s in the evening. No need for heavy clothing and this was the first week of January.
Before the first rays of light, a location was found in the dark next to a piece of fallen timber along the edge of the reserve. The setup was 300 yards from my first position and abour 50 yards south of the tree line. The west edge of the reserve ran north and south, so I was just south of the landowner's tree line. The deer had stepped out of the timber to the north and moved southeast into the reserve. Sitting along side a fallen tree, I would have a profile shot to the southwest and about 30 yards from where I was hiding.
The usual cacophony of nose began as it started to show touches of light. Out of the woods came the turkeys and off the roost they flew. The noise was very very pronounced, but hunting deer was the goal.
A couple of bucks came out of the timber and in the really dim light, the antlers were just barely visible. They moved right along the line that was anticipated. This was good. The location was just right. The wind was calm. Luckily, I had soaked my hunting coat in a product from Wildlife Research Center and sold by Bass Pro.
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I was not winded. As it became more light, out of the timber stepped a nice sized doe. She move forward and stopped about 75 yards from my position. The timber was to my front, and the gun rested upon a shooting stick, but something was not right. She looked straight at me. Head on, deer give a really poor profile, and really bad shots. I have done it before with a 30-06 in another state. The muzzle loader was sighted in at 100 yards dead on. She just stood there. I waited to see if I could get a better angle, but she just stood there and my patience went out the window. With the cross-hairs right on the center of the animal, the shot was taken.
Down she went. The doe just folded up and laid there. No movement was seen. I should have waited about 5 minutes, but I headed for the doe with my field dressing equipment. Within ten yards, she came alive, really alive. Up she jumped, up went the flag, and off she went heading west, then turning north into the timber.
Immediately, the ground was examined and there was no blood stain. Then her movement west was tracked, and then north to the edge of the timber. No blood trail was found.
Hearing the shot, the landowner came over to see me. He gave plenty of encouragement and a couple of tips on tracking down the doe. He also went into the timber to find some evidence of the crippled animal.
For three and one half hours I weaved back and forth moving almost all the way to the highway to the north and the edge of the farm, but nothing was found. That deer had folded when it was hit, and the expectation was finding her within 50 yards of the timber line. Having them take off like this is not unusual, although I hate to see it. The deer is usually found, and I rarely loose one. I am still amazed how she folded up laid there and then got up and ran. The fox and her cubs somewhere in the timber will have fresh venison to feast on.
The landowner told me to set up on the road into the farm as he had seen deer moving from the river into the timber. After finding a couple of runs, I set up along the side of the road. This would be a really quick shot if one stepped out of the timber. Giving a quick short whistle will most times cause a whitetail to stop and take a look. They are so curious, but once discovered up comes the flag and off they go.
|This would be a really quick shot if a deer stepped out of the brush and timber. I kept the gun at my shoulder waiting for a couple of hours. One came by, but it was a buck and my license is for anterless deer. |
It was really getting warm and I headed in.
Good fishing, good hunting, and good luck. Hank.
PS: It is the first week of march as I post this blog, and with the warm weather the snow geese are returning. Squaw Creek Refuge in the middle of Feb. had over a million snows and blues. We are looking for some of them to follow the Missouri River.
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