The Deer are in the Corn

With one successful hunt under my belt, it was time to move onto another.  The two days I picked had cool morning temperatures, but getting hotter later in the day.  The plan was to be on site by 6 AM.  The mosquitoes were really heavy early morning and evening, but I was prepared. ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent – Olive Green is the product I use and it really works. If you are outdoors in the summer during the buggy period this is the product to own.

I planned to hunt just below the landowner’s home about 100 yards down his lane up on a bank.  Deer tracks were thick in that area as they came from the fields below and moved to higher ground in the timber.  Setting up under a standing oak, I had good visibiltiy to the front and to the right.  Up the hill visibility was blocked by some low bushes.  The sun was not up but it was light, and the morning remained cool.  The day was not to warm up much past 85 degrees, but the humidity was still heavy.  I sat for almost two hours and nothing happened.  I also may have napped a little as it was a beautiful morning. 

After the sun was up, it was obvious there was no action here.  However, not wanting to leave, it was decided to push farther up the bank.  There was a nice gradual slope and the timber funneled into a V at the top of the bank.  It was here the set up was made.  It was also darker in the top of the V as the timber was closer to me. 

After about 30 minutes there was that familiar snort and a foot pounded the ground.  It sounded like it was right behind me.  How many times have you been in this situation?  You cannot move.  It was obvious the animal knew something was not quite right.  Doe and bucks will do the same thing, so it was impossible to tell what it was.  The depravation tag does not specify if it has to be a doe, but the focus is on doe only shooting.  This is the best way to thin the herd.

Slowly I moved the gun to a better position on my lap and tightened the muscles in my arms to start to bring it up to the shoulder.  To my right was standing timber.  To my left were very tight small sapplings.  Behind me was the tree I was sitting against.  Tall grass in front of me opened up to the lane.  My head moved very slowly to the right to check that area.  There was nothing there.  “Bump, bump,” it beat the ground again.  Then I lifted the stock very slowly to my shoulder. I swallowed, and I could feel my heart beat.  Very very slowly I moved my head to the left until all that was needed was to move the eyes.  Nothing was there.   That meant the thing was behind me.  I am right handed so I quickly swung to the left around the tree.  It was gone and I never got a peek. 

I decided it was time for a change of plans.  I moved to the uphill side of the bank with my back intermingled with the very tight small sapplings.  Thirty minutes went by.  Again, the usual huff, followed by a pound of the hoof on the ground.  This time it was to my right and somewhat behind me.  I said to myself, “Do nothing and don’t move.”  It knew something was not quite right with the direction it wanted to go.  If I remained perfectly still, perhaps it would  calm  down and  step into a position where I could get a shot.  It was not meant to be.  I waited for 30 minutes and heard nothing else.  Turning around and stepping deeper into the woods, I could see no signs or tracks. 

By now it was close to 10 AM and it was starting to get hot.  I ran into the landowner and he suggested I hunt south closer to his large cornfield on the next trip.  He gave me some areas to work as he had seen about fifteen along a fence line in the morning. 

Good hunting, good fishing and good luck.  Hank

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