My gear has been getting a workout this year. So have my legs. I have been practicing, scouting, hiking, and hunting for a couple months and have yet to draw back on a deer. It's been tough to say the least. Will I let that get me down? Heck no! I am still pumped as I have nearly two months left to fill a tag.
A couple of my buddies and I have been out bowhunting SoCal mule deer together for the past two months. We have spotted some deer, but haven't been able to get close enough on public land. Have we been able to get out as much as we hoped? Nope. We all have families, jobs, and things that come up, but those days when we do get together, we make the most of it. We hike, glass, hike, glass, and repeat over and over. Many would be discouraged, but I am not. I am just getting in tune with the land and when it is meant to happen, it will.
Lately, we have found plenty of mountain lion tracks in our go-to spot. Not just any tracks, but big ones alongside little ones. No bueno! Last weekend, my buddy Michael and I hiked nine miles in search of deer. We glassed basins, trails, valleys, and didn't spot a single deer. It's only the second time in two years I have gone out and not seen at least a handful of deer. We did spot some rifle hunters, but only three of them and most were more than a mile away. Even still, we hiked around a few hillsides and that's when we located the kitty tracks.
The best thing to happen to us was at the end of the day when we were heading out of the parking lot. Michael had just left when another truck pulled in. The driver cordially asked if I was a hunter and if I had any luck. When I said no, he asked what my weapon of choice was. I told him I was a bowhunter and he lit up. He shared that he was not a hunter, but that he and his buddies were motocross enthusiasts and they had a problem. There were so many deer around their spot that they couldn't ride without fear of hitting one. For a few more minutes I chatted with him and got the directions to his spot and I am hoping to make it out in the next two weeks to scout the area and hunt it.
It's always hard to hunt out where I hunt, but I know the deer are there. Time to put my boots on, put my muscles and optics to work and try to located a high desert mule deer.