1/25 & 1/26/2013 Evening Hunting Trips

Headed out into the woods of Loch Raven Friday evening in the snow. I decided to go do some still hunting with the crossbow since it was snowing and so cold.  While I was out walking I saw 2 foxes and spent a lot of time just watching areas I normally the deer tend to spend time during bad weather.  I didn't see a single deer until almost dark when I watched 5 does walk along the top of the hill which I was at the bottom of.  They were moving slowly and didn't see in a hurry to get anywhere but finally went over the hill and I headed out of the woods as I was literally frozen.

Saturday evening I headed out into the woods nice and early, at least early for as cold as it was.. I got in my tree around 2 pm.  I saw one of the biggest red foxes I have ever seen around 3:30.  Then around 4:20 I saw a doe walking around the thicket that was about 75 yards off to my right. She was just feeding along and didn't seem to heading anywhere, but finally wondered off in the other direction.  Then I didn't see anything for a while when finally I saw a deer headed in my direction slowly feeding along. I threw the binoculars up and quickly found that it was a nice  little basket 8 point.  He was headed straight toward me but it would take a long time for him to get close enough, he was a borderline shooter, I would have had to of seen him closer to make that choice so I had to wait.  Then I heard a crunch from behind me, I turned around and looked and 4 does were coming up the little hill behind me and headed about 60 yards off to my left.     So I had them slowly working off to my left and the 8 point headed straight for me.  All 5 deer were slowly now working in my direction and I was almost certain I would get a shot at something.   Then I was humbled and reminded I was hunting in Loch Raven when I heard voices, 3 guys were coming down the hill off to my left about 150 - 200 yards away.  First the 4 does ran toward me, but stopped about 45 yards in front of me for about 2 seconds and then took off up the hill.  Right after they ran of course the 8 point buck joined them never stopping and as it turned out he was probably smaller than I would have wanted to shoot anyway.

After a few minutes the guys headed off in another direction at which point they seeming might have made my night a little better.  As the guys got further and further away, I suddenly heard more deer coming from off to my left where the 8 point had come from.  It was 7 more does all running, headed straight for me. They stopped about 40 yards away from me, and stared walking around feeding again.  I watched them, hoping one of the bigger does would get 10 yards closer, but only a fawn did.  As the sun set the deer were walking and feeding off in the same direction that the other deer earlier had run off to.  So no shots but an eventful hour, sadly 3 hikers whom seemed to be just out playing in the woods probably cost me getting a shot, but who knows.  That is hunting public land, never know who you will see, what you will see, if you will see anything at all.  It's just a matter of getting used to it and learning to hunt around it.

Anyone else get out in the snow this weekend?  How did you do? What did you see?

Only 4 days left of hunting season for this year, anyone else hunting this week?

2 Responses

  1. Brian
    Went to Loch Raven on Saturday morning. I spooked a few while I was on the trail walking to my stand site. I could hear the deer moving right off the trail but it was too dark for me to see. I set my stand up and sat for about 2 hours before giving into the cold. By that point I had pretty much lost feeling in my toes. I met up with my buddies and we walked back to the truck. On the way back I checked the spot where I first spooked the deer and saw that the spot was a nice thicket so I walked in a little bit and found at least 11 beds. It was clear as day because there was snow all around except for these 11 egg shaped areas. I hunted my private property spot in the late afternoon from a ground blind with my brother-in-law. No deer but we saw about 3 or 4 red foxes. The one was pretty big and walked right in front of our ground blind about 20 feet away. I never saw a fox that close except from inside a vehicle. Just wondering if you do any shed hunting? If so, where do you normally focus your search?
    • admin
      Brain, Great to hear you got out this past weekend. Sorry you froze as I did on Friday. Sounds like you found a good bedding area for Loch Raven, 11 beds is a good number for one spot. Not common to see that in Loch Raven, even this time of year when they are herded up. Yes, we actively shed hunt a lot. Normally from mid February until around the opening of trout fishing season. As where we focus on, bedding areas and known high travel routes are normally where we find sheds. Although I will say that in recent years, shed hunting on Loch Raven has become near to impossible, lots of other people out looking and fewer and fewer deer, coupled with the fact that the big boys spend most of their time places we either would never look or don't have permission to look. So less sheds out there, plus more people looking for them reduce your odds, but I will still be out looking. So long story short I try to hit tickets that have heavy travel first, then bedding areas, then well known trails. Hope that answers your question.

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