Deer Adventures Fall 2013

Posted by Jennifer on November 18, 2013 – 9:17 pm

Tree House

{Pictured above: tree house…err…club house…err…ground blind…what a blast it was to build it with my little bro! And building it was one of the highlights of the trip for me!}

No deer! What can the matter be? No deer! What can the matter be? No deer! What can the matter be? Guess we done scared them away.

We’ve tracked where they’ve been but can’t find where they are. We’ve seen where they’ve been but can’t find where they are. We know where they’ve been but can’t find where they are. I guess we’ll go home empty handed.

                            {sung to the tune of “Oh, dear. What can the matter be?”}

This year was my first year of deer hunting. My brother {visiting from Australia} came along for the adventure of it, though he doesn’t have a hunting license. He was my research man and watched countless videos and read many articles on deer hunting.

So we headed out bright dark and early each morning and returned after dark every night. Most days were cold with dustings and flurries of snow. Near the end of the trip, it had warmed drastically, which is bad for hunting I’m told.

Our best day was also our coldest day. The day was the day that our deer came and also they day that our deer got away. We were freezing in the –15 deg C weather, made even colder by the fact that we are sitting still, waiting…waiting…waiting. The snow from previous days has completely frozen and crusted over into a crunchy ground cover. Official sunset time is 4:52pm so we can officially hunt until 5:22pm. About 4:55pm, we hear something coming through the bush LOUD {thanks to that ice crust}. Then it stops. We hold our breath excitedly and about 5 minutes or so passes and then it’s coming in closer, and closer and it stops. We hear nothing…we wait and wait and wait. Now it is 5:15pm and too dark to shoot and we can see nothing. I assume that the racket was a fellow hunter we know hunts the area. We’re heading out. We can’t see to shoot. It’s dark, dark, dark.  I shout ‘hello’ as I stand. My brother shouts, “shut up” at me and *crash, crash, crash* we hear it tear off into the bush. We laugh and call each other names and head home with the grand story, which was so much better in real life. The next day we find the tracks. A buck {or very big doe} and only about 20 yards off us. Had we had any light at all, we’d have seen him standing there.

Ah well.

At least we found some one else’s deer parts to entertain us.

Deer Parts

We switched it up, sitting somewhere different most days, though now I am wondering if the spots we chose were maybe too close together and the deer caught on to us? Some days sitting right in the bush and other days hunting in the open hardwood forests or clearings. We experimented with the Tink’s Rut sticks and various bottles of doe urine, no-scent spray and what not. It didn’t seem to help us. Though perhaps in our excitement, we maybe went overboard with the smelly stuff? I told my brother that from now on, thoughts of him and the scent of doe urine will go hand in hand.

IMG_0988

We tried to be quiet. We tried, mostly, to not eat snacks. It was hard though. Really hard. And when it got really cold, it was hard to not just pack up and call it a day. I don’t mind the cold when I’m moving but when you’re just sitting there…well it’s those moments that I question how badly I really want a deer!

Every day we learned something new, saw something new or discovered something new. One of our most exciting discoveries was an entire scrape line. Like a scavenger hunt, we tracked the scrapes and signs down one at a time. It is completely thanks to my brother that I even know what that is.

Fall 2013 Hunting

We didn’t come home completely skunked though, we shot and ate a few partridge to the delight of my children. Partridge is on the menu for tomorrow’s lunch as well since I have one lonely one left to make into stir-fry.

I’m so thankful for my parents. Every day they entertained and played with my little people so that I was footloose and fancy free to chase elusive deer in the freezing cold. What could be better?

So after this week, I’m wondering if deer hunting is different in fields than in open bush? How are all these people getting deer? I didn’t even see one! Are you more likely to see one hunting fields? Is a deer stand an essential or at least does it increase likelihood of getting a deer? Should you use any of the scent products available? Guess I am going to spend the next year researching so I am a little more knowledgeable going into next year’s season since this year I knew exactly squat. And I’ve been mentally compiling a stocking stuffer list for DH…you know exciting things like a rattle bag, snort wheez, a good head lamp…and then there is a wish list of a trail camera, tree stand, some warm, water-proof, quiet hunting pants.

So that’s my trip in a nut shell. It was fun. I’m glad to be home and happy to see DH.

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