So, if you remember from 2011 I participated in a hunt here in the Twin Cities metro area. Here, Here and here are the blog posts from that hunt.
Well, this year I got selected for the same hunt and I was able to select the exact same stand location that I did in 2011. So, I will spare you the logistical details and get right to the hunt.
So the first day of the hunt was interesting…We got out to our stands just after legal shooting light, so about 6:45. There wasn’t much activity right off the bat, but about 8:30 or so I see three deer off to my left. A doe and her twin fawns. So, I grab my bow and get into shooting position. The deer are working their way through some trees so I don’t have a shot.
Lo and behold, they bed down about 25 yards from me. They either don’t know I’m there or don’t care, but I can see them. I figured, this is cool, I will just wait them out and hopefully I will be able to get a shot off when they move. Keep in mind, I am practically frozen in position holding my bow and sitting on the small seat of my treestand. An hour passes…..
And another hour…..
And another…..And they aren’t moving.
Now, for those of you that do not know, I have back problems and have had them for 5 years or so. I need to move on stand to keep my back loose. This includes standing up.
The most I allow myself to move is to sort of shift my weight on my hips, kind of slide on my seat a bit, but nothing else.
Another hour passes…..
Oh…and I have to pee. Like, badly.
And another hour….
And finally at 2:00pm they get up and prance away from me.
I have never had an experience with hunting that was so exhilarating and brutal at the same time.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. It was pretty windy which made the deer lay down a bit. Later in the afternoon I saw plenty of deer, but most of them were bucks or too far into the woods to shoot. So, the good news is, I saw a lot of deer, just not in a way that allowed me to get a shot off.
Saturday was even windier than Friday. I swear the tree that I was in was singing a medley of Sway, Rock Me Gently and Blowin’ in the Wind. Wow, was it windy.
I was seeing plenty of activity in the woods. The problem was that at one point I had seen more coyotes than deer… and I had seen five deer.
One thing I did realize is that I put my stand in the wrong location. Due to the planting of some trees in the open field behind me, the deer were now using trails they weren’t using in 2011. Since we didn’t get a chance to scout ahead of time, I didn’t know that. So all of the deer I am seeing are 30-45 yards away and the organization putting on this hunt doesn’t want us to take shots over 20 due to the percentages of success.
There was one doe though that came in from my right and, you guessed it, bedded down 20 yards from me. But, since she was on my right and I am right handed, getting my bow and turning to get a shot off would have spooked her. Luckily a fellow hunter was walking through the woods at the right time so I figured she would get up and go towards me in the opposite direction of the hunter. But that damn deer got up and FOLLOWED THE HUNTER! What. The. Hell.
After lunch though…it was show time.
So, I am sitting in my stand and I hear this sound like two drum sticks banging together. I was like, “What the heck is that?” I look up to my left where the noise is coming from and I see four deer feet through the branches. Then I see a buck’s head getting twisted.
TWO BUCKS ARE SPARRING IN THE WOODS 25 YARDS FROM ME!!!!!
Never in my hunting career have I had the joy of experiencing this in the woods. It lasted all of 10 minutes, but it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
When the bucks were done, they meandered off about another 10 yards and, you guessed it, bedded down by me. Again, I could see them, but they had no idea I was there. One of the bucks was a small 6 point and the other was an 8 point that was at or outside the ears. The longest tines were about 5 inches tall.
I waited again for them to get up and moved before I made any large movements. It took about an hour.
By now it was later in the afternoon and things were slow again. Until a nice sized doe entered the woods about 40 yards from me.
Now, I would like to tell you that this lead to a shot and another deer for me, but it didn’t. It led to another first for me in the woods.
The doe entered to my right and started to work her way through the woods. Suddenly, straight ahead of me a small 6 point buck appeared and stared intently at the doe. He worked his way down the ridge in front of me and right towards the doe. I thought it was the 6 point from the sparring, but I was wrong…he appeared about 30 seconds later and went after the first 6 point that showed.
Then I hear a grunt….and the 8 point shows up and makes it clear to all parties that he ain’t messing around. He sprints right at that doe and she runs off.
That leaves the two 6 points in the woods. And I was treated to some more sparring!!!
But that isn’t the other first I was talking about. That happened next.
Those two bucks sparred for about 5 minutes when all of a sudden they got spooked and ran off into the woods. I wondered what had happened when I heard this quasi coyote call…and that’s when I saw him.
An anti-hunter came into the woods and spooked the deer intentionally to ruin my hunt. Turns out he traipsed around the woods to all of the hunters in our area just to mess with us.
Talk about a surreal experience. I have never had to deal with that before. I was mad, scared for myself and worried about my fellow hunters all at once. It unnerved me pretty badly. I have heard of anti’s doing things like that before, and sometimes worse, but I had never experienced it.
Needless to say that ruined the rest of my Saturday hunt.
The Sunday hunt was shaping up to be a beauty. No wind, clear skies, great weather…I was super excited.
The day started off perfectly. One of the 6 points from the day before finally took a trail that I thought the deer were going to use and ended up 7 yards from my stand. He strolled right up to me, looked at me in the stand, and kept on going without a care in the world. I said to myself, “I’ll see you in two weeks.”
But from there the day became more frustrating…all of the rest of the deer, and there were 9 of them, all entered the woods at least 40 yards from me. They never got close enough for me to even get my bow.
Then, about 2:30, the anti showed up again. This time he brought a friend. Now there were two of them running around the woods ruining the hunt for all of us again.
Once they cleared out….a second set of antis showed up. This time it was a couple strolling through the trails acting as if they were the only two people on the planet. Fuckers.
Then…the battery in my phone died.
What a day.
The only good news from the day was that one of the hunters in our party shot her first deer ever, in spite of the efforts of our disruptive new friends.
I’ve been there before and can remember what it is like to get your first deer. I was really excited for her.
So, that’s it for the first weekend of my Metro 2013 hunt.
I saw a lot, A LOT, of deer and now I know where to put my stand for the next weekend.
Let’s just hope the antis don’t show up again. I may have to find space on my wall for a different kind of trophy. I kid….I kid…..kind of.
See you in the woods.