I must say this year wasn't the normal year for me.. Certainly wasn't what I was hoping for and makes the wait until next hunting season even harder. Only thing that is saving me is fishing season!
This past hunting season started out with me having life events and work that prevented me from doing basically any early season hunting. I started in Late October and by then it just seemed things weren't going to go well for. I hunted a number of days and didn't see anything or had things screw up my hunt.
Then early November came and I took a trip to Maryland's eastern shore and my bad luck came with me. I was down there and out of the few days I hunt down there it was almost 80 degrees one day. and another day we got 2" of rain.. Makes for hard hunting and on top of all that, the deer just were not really moving a lot. They just seemed to be laying low and at that point rut had not really got going yet down there. On my second to last night I let the only deer I got a shot at walk, which was a very small spike.
Then I returned home for the central Maryland mid November rut. I spent some time bow hunting to which I either didn't see much or didn't see anything close (story of this season). Then we shifted to gun season in late November I spent a good amount of time hunting. Couple of the days I finally saw deer, but they were on property adjoining the property I was hunting or they were just too far away, or the one morning they just seemed to see me before I saw them. This continued all through the month of December either my bow hunts go screwed up or my gun hunts I saw nothing. In the end I rolled right through the late gun season in early January with still nothing to show. I hadn't had the change to draw my bow on a deer, and I hadn't even gotten a shot during gun season. Then we went into late bow season......
We all know late bow season is extremely hard anywhere, but even harder on public land. I spent the better part of the last two weeks of the season wishing I could go hunting while working.. I did manage to sneak out 1 Saturday into Loch Raven which I saw nothing... I then spent the last 2 of the season hunting our private land. This always gives me a much better shot a seeing deer but never seems to mean I'll get a deer. The first night I had 6 deer come through the woods. Well, being the end of the season I figured I just need meat in the freezer so I am shooting whatever gives me a decent shot. I finally managed to get a shot after watching them for 30+ minutes and it was right around sunset. I got a shot a health young buck at about 27 yards, I managed to shoot right under him..... The deer spooked a little but they didn't run off. A few minutes later at almost the end of legal shooting light a good size doe came up and gave me a shot at 24 yards. I shot and as soon as it hit her I knew the shot was high, I could just feel it when I released the arrow. I ended up spending the better part of the next 5 hours looking for that doe. Well, after not much blood and a blood trail that ended I gave up for the night. Went back out looking the next morning and nothing.. Never found her or any sign of her.. So, I decided well maybe those deer will return that evening so I got back at it. I sat and waited that night, sunset came and no sign of any deer and I was getting worried.
Well, right at last shooting light here comes 3 does. I just had to hope they got within shooting range before it was too late. The one bigger doe came walking and finally turned broadside with only minutes to spare. I ended up with a decent 25 yard shot. I took that shot and it felt like a good shot. Well, it too was high but this time I hit the doe's spine and she dropped right where she was standing. She never knew what hit her. Turns out my bow was shooting a little high so I have some work ahead of me before next hunting season.
I was able to harvest that doe and now have some meat in the freezer for the upcoming year.
The doe I could not find, I went back and looked again the following weekend, walked all around, about 1/2 mile in every direction no sign at all.
Well, about a week or so ago I went out and was checking our trail cam, sure enough the doe is still alive and well. She has a scar on her upper back but it missed anything important and I have seen her a couple times since then on cam and even once when I was out walking the property. I am glad she is alive I just wish I would have cleanly missed. But anytime you cannot find a deer, if you can prove it lived, it's better than never knowing what happen.
So, I will need to make some adjustments to my bow before next hunting season and I will also hopefully be working on some better luck. As, I was never able to get a shot or even get a shooter buck close to my stand. All and all it was a frustrating year, but I learned some new stuff and I also spent some good time in the woods with friends and family. I cannot ask for much more.
I hope those of you who do read our blog had a good hunting season. I apologize this year lacked posted and trail cam updates. It was a busy year and my writing had to take a backseat to family and work. This fishing season and next hunting season I should be back at the writing and I hope to hear from many of you that I didn't hear from much this season due to my lack of writing.