Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick Saturday Hunt Full Of Excitement
Last Saturday, Michael and I hit our hunting spot to try and fill our deer tags. Once again, we were running behind as the sun came up before we hiked the last quarter mile to our spot - uphill. The rain had slowed down to a light drizzle, but the wind was howling. We refused to allow disappointment to set in and got set up to start glassing.

Set on a hillside, we split up and began our watch. Let me tell you, that wind was cruising over the hill and right down my spine. Fortunately, my clothing was waterproof and wind resistant. I also had packed some warmer clothes just in case. They all ended up being worn and my hood stayed up most of the morning.

I wasn't seated for ten minutes when I saw movement below me. In the valley below there were four deer standing like statues, hunkered down out of the wind. They couldn't avoid some of it as I could see their fur ruffling up from time to time. Even in SoCal we get cooler temps. With the wind chill it was around 45 degrees. Perfect for hunting, but the wind made it a challenge. 

I sat and watched these deer for two hours as they fed around some bushes. Then, out of nowhere, a beautiful deer crested to far ridge and barreled right towards Michael. I stood up, bow ready and just watched her approach. She was so light and orange-colored that she looked like a whitetail. It was so cool to see! She was on the trail that if she went past my hunting partner that she'd walk right to me. Unfortunately, either of those scenarios didn't happen. She was 50 yards from me and right in front of Michael. The only problem was she was behind a bush the entire time. When she stepped out, she winded him at 30 yards (wind was blowing right in her face) and she bolted - away from us. Bummer! She ran right be where we had originally talked about sitting. Deer: 1 - Us: 0. It was such a cool experience though!

The rest of the morning I watched the deer below feed and bed down. I watched as a fifth deer appeared that I had not seen before. She had been bedded on the opposite side of the bushes. There was no way to put a stalk on from the area we were sitting. Michael and I discussed putting on a stalk, which entailed me skirting the foothill and hiking some steep areas. We agreed to wait until they bedded and I'd begin. Unfortunately, they didn't bed down and one of the largest does spotted me as I shifted my position. She couldn't figure me out because they stayed there for 15 minutes and she just snorted over and over. She stomped her feet a few times and just stared through me. They all walked away at a slow pace and then instinct kicked in and they bolted over the far ridge. That's hunting folks!

We had to call the hunt early on account of prior plans, but we had a great time nonetheless. We spotted six deer in a few hours, had one in close and stayed positive. We have a few weeks left to fill our tags and just a few more dates where we can get out, but we will be out there. We have a great spot and just need to make it happen.

2 comments:

  1. Al, I always enjoy your writing style. I feel as if I am there, except for the cold part. I am glad that you got to see the deer, and things will happen as you put in the work. Dedication is one of your fine strong points!

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  2. Very cool adventure Al! I always love to read about those close encounters!

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