Headed down to Maryland's eastern shore to do some public land hunting down there. Different deer, different scenery, and just some nice time away. I took a good friend with me and we both were looking forward to getting away and some good hunting.
Wednesday 11/6/2013 -
We headed down in the morning and planned to hunt an area in the afternoon that we hunted last year during muzzleloader season that we thought held hope. It was warm but a nice day and there was a number of small rubs as we walked into the woods so we felt pretty good about the area where we were hunting. It was a pretty evening but warm down on the shore and I attempted some grunting and rattling but neither of us saw deer. On a side note driving from Baltimore down to the eastern shore we saw a very big 8 pointer out in a field just 30 - 40 yards off RT 50 following a doe mid morning. We thought that was a good sign for what is to come!
Thursday 11/7/2013 -
Was rained out down there as I had no interest in getting soaked again.. I really should invest in a good rain suit that is camo, but either way it's never fun sitting in the woods in wind driven rain.
Great day to be in the woods, cooled off and the wind was fairly calm until late morning. We headed to a new area we had identified on a map, so we were blindly going in on a morning hunt with no idea what we were getting into. We located a cleared area on the map hat was just off a fire trail. I put my friend on the field and I went about 75 yards away over on the fire trail. It was a somewhat slow morning so I started doing some rattling and grunting around 7:15 AM. A few minutes later I heard grunting coming from a deer and I started grunting back, he answered several times but then I never saw any deer. It was hard to see more than 50 yards in one direction on the fire trail and 20 yards the other. The deer were about 75 yards up the fire trail towards my friend. Around 7:45 AM or so I heard a noise that sounded like a bow shot. After a little while I got a text message that he had shot at a big buck but wasn't sure he hit the deer. The deer gave him a second shot but was further than he thought and missed it's mark. He then watched the buck out in this field get up and lay down a number of times over the next hour until he disappeared into the woods. The buck had come out right behind him following a small yearling doe which he was more interested in then any concerns of my friend and she was way more worried about the buck because at one point she made my friend. Shortly after that around 8:30 AM he had an 8 pointer come by a similar trail which was clearly looking for the doe and annoyed by my grunting and rattling as I was still trying to call in a deer for myself since we didn't know if he did or did not hit the buck.
Finally, around 9:15 Am when I hadn't seen a thing and the other deer had left the area where my friend was we decided we better get down and see if the deer was hit and if so make a decision on when to start looking for him. Upon getting down and we found that the first shot had landed it's mark and was a clean pass threw and was covered in blood. We found the second shot had missed and we decided to back out for an hour or so and then go start looking. We started looking and quickly started finding good patches of blood ever 15 - 30 yards but nothing between which made this deer very hard to track. We followed these patches for roughly 500 yards over the course of 2 hours and finally after we had almost given up because we hadn't seen a new patch of blood in a while. I was walking a big circle and about to wrap around and suggest we give up when the wind picked up and I got a good nose full of buck smell. I quickly turned my head and saw a pair of antlers and that were looking at me. The deer had not expired yet 4 hours after he was shot but could no longer get up he could only turn his head. We quickly got an arrow out and put him down as we did not want him to suffer any. We finally were able to look at the deer good and found that he was a very nice 9 point and the shot was a good shot but slightly back and at a steep angle. So it was a solid liver shot but at a very steep angle which allowed the stomach and such to seal the exit wound and this is why there was no real blood trail, he would only bleed when laying down. We then had a very long drag out of the woods, roughly 500 - 600 yards. Very long day, but very much worth it. Pictures of the deer below! We were unable to get out in the afternoon as it was 2:30 by the time we got the deer out of the woods and we were covered in sweat and blood.
Saturday 11/9/2013 -
We headed back out to the same area as the Friday on Saturday morning with a better plan and hopes of seeing more deer. The morning was cold and crisp and I had high hopes. but..... 7am came and went, 8am came and went and neither of had seen anything. Finally around 9 AM, I heard something just below me in the ticket, a small spike popped out of the woods at about 50 yards away walked out in the clearing and started feeding and rubbing it his spikes on a tree. He hung around a few minutes in the clearing and then turned and headed almost back the same way he came in. I thought that was it, but a couple minutes later I had a doe walk in 5 yards behind me, but she was behind some really think trees and brush and I had no shot at all.... She feed behind me on acorns and then finally walked off in the wrong direction. That was it, we headed home Saturday afternoon.
So the eastern shore trip was a overall success, I didn't see any deer until the last morning, but I found some new areas to hunt and had a great few days away. I was able to part of my friend harvesting a very nice buck and an overall great trip. There will be next year and hopefully with more knowledge and a better plan of attack there will be more deer or bigger deer in store for me!
How was everyone's week and weekend? Did you get out and harvest a deer or see anything good? Rut is kicking in and hunting will only get better over the next two weeks. You cannot go wrong if your in the woods! Let us know what your seeing!