Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 2:44 am
I went out both the morning and afternoon for the final day of the 2011 – 2012 hunting season in hopes of harvesting one more doe, or finding that elusive buck. Well, the final day was warm, and presented beautiful weather and perfect wind in both the morning and afternoon hunts. One of my friends hunted along with me for the last day as he was lucky enough to get away from work. The morning started out chilly and I had high hopes after yesterday. Well, it was another one of those days at Loch Raven. I had way too many of these days this year. The morning hunt was very slow as I only saw geese, as did my friend. Not a single deer in the same area that the past few times I have seen 10+ deer. Well, that is why they call it hunting, right? The afternoon got nice and warm and we went back to the same area in high hopes since the deer didn’t move that morning they might move in the evening. Well, it was like hunting in early October without the bugs and leaves on the trees. I was warm and was having a very hard time trying not to fall asleep in my treestand. As time went by it was 3 p.m., then 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and nothing. Not a single deer moving in that section of woods after the past few times as I said above I had seen 10+ deer. Well, again that is why they call it hunting and there were a lot of people out in the woods to push the deer from normal bedding areas and alter their normal patterns. That’s hunting, sadly today was the last day of the 2011 – 2012 hunting season and now we have to wait 7 1/2 months until opening day of bow season.
I had a great season, I let a lot deer walk early in the season in hopes of finding a bigger buck and planning to harvest several does later in the season. However, December and January turned out to much harder than in past years and it took until the very end for me to just harvest 1 doe. I ended up buck-less this year, am I upset about this? Not at all, I let numerous smaller bucks walk by me this year and had all those experiences to learn from and let those guys grow up. Next year is another year and hopefully a better year. I also had the opportunity to share my hunting adventures along with all of our readers and look forward to an off season filled with stories, product reviews, helpful information, and whatever else is going on within our outdoor lives.
We hope all of you had an awesome year hunting and were successful. If you have any stories, pictures, or questions, we would love to hear from you and share them with our readers. So, how did you do this season?
Thanks again to our readers for sharing in our first season here at Bow Hunting Maryland and we look forward to next season and everything this off season has in store for Bow Hunting Maryland.
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 2:03 am
I headed out to the same location that I hunted on Saturday 1/28/2012 when I saw all those deer that morning. I had high hopes and nothing to lose so to speak. I took one of my friends that hunts with me along and put him in the tree where I had been in and I took a gamble that the deer would come from this area, so I sat in a different tree. I am sure glad I did… just after 7 a.m. I heard crunching and around the hill comes 3 does. One was a fawn, one a yearling and one a big doe with the big doe in the lead. They came right down the trail as I had hoped, but much faster than I had thought. With no time to stand or really make any movement as the lead doe walked behind a tree 19 yards away, I drew back my bow. She walked just beyond the tree and I let my arrow fly. I had a perfect broadside shot at 19 yards, I couldn’t ask for anything better this late in the year. After letting the arrow fly, I heard the “thump” of an arrow hitting it’s planned target and the doe ran off almost sideways as her legs were moving faster than her body. I watched the 3 deer run up the hill, and as they ran off I only saw 2 keep running after about 80 yards. I thought my deer was down and I knew just where she was, well no plan is set in stone. My friend and I decided to wait a while and see what else was moving since it was so early. I didn’t end up seeing anything else, however my friend did a see a big group of does feeding along but too far away to shoot. Around 8:30 a.m., we decided to go find my doe and head home, planning an easy recovery and short drag… We had seen crows that kept going back to this same area which also happened to be the same place I last saw the deer I shot. Needless to say, we headed right for that area and…. nothing….. So I back tracked down to where I shot the deer and my friend and I started a zig-zag pattern back and forth around the area she had run. After 15 – 20 minutes neither of us had found anything so we started walking towards each other so we could go back to where I shot her and try seeing if we missed anything. On my way there, I see blood on a tree and when I looked at the base of the tree I saw a small pool of blood and same parts of organs. We then were able to keep up a blood trail that wandered up this hill and just kept going. The first point of blood was 80 yards from where I shot her. The parts of her organs told me I did not hit the deer where I had thought, even though replaying it in my mind I know where I was aiming and it was a broadside shot. However, after thinking about it several times over, she did flinch when I released.
We continued to follow the blood trail for another 200 yards before it started to dry up and we were starting to question if we would ever find her. At this point the amount of blood she lost and the fact that it had been 3 hours, I was pretty sure she would have expired, I just did not know where. We followed little tiny drops of blood that in many cases were so small and were only on little tiny twigs on the ground. After the blood got less and less and we had not found any for 30 or 40 yards, we were almost at the point of giving it a rest, marking the trail and backing out for a while and coming back after a few hours with a fresh mind and full stomach. Before we lost the blood, I had started to notice a set of tracks that were smudged like a deer that couldn’t walk straight (drunk deer) or maybe it was my deer. These prints followed the same trail, but so did many others. Regardless, I suggested we follow these tracks for a little ways and see what came of it before we left. So we started walking along and after 50 more yards we found one little drop of blood but enough to make us continue following these tracks. Just then my friend looked around a tree and there she was, the doe I had shot 30 yards in front of us fallen down against a small tree. She ran in total about 350 yards, so see even a perfect broadside shot if the deer has a mind of it’s own can flinch and land you tracking a deer for a considerable amount of time. In my case, we tracked this doe for a little over an hour, which is a lot longer than I like, but I am just sure glad I found her, and found her before the foxes did.
The picture of the doe is below, what a great morning to shoot a deer yesterday and I am super happy I was able to harvest a late season doe and add to the freezer.
How did everyone else do on the second to last day of the 2011 – 2012 hunting season?
Sunday, January 29th, 2012 at 3:35 am
Today was the last Saturday of the 2011 – 2012 hunting season, how depressing. I did not make it out this morning. However, I did make it out this afternoon and boy was I glad I did! I went and got in my tree around 2 p.m., around 3:45 p.m. I had a hiker come walking through the area I was hunting, he walked around for about 10 minutes…. Hello, last day of hunting season what are you doing wandering around the woods?? Well, I wasn’t sure if he had screwed the whole day up or not. Well, around 4:20 p.m. two large groups of deer, more than I could count came running across the road and into the area I was hunting between 30 and 40 yards away. I stopped counting at some point there were just too many deer, however, I did keep track of the Antlers, in total I saw 10 bucks, 7 in the first group and 3 in the second. The first group had a 10 point, 6 point, a 4 or 5 point, a very small 4 point, and 3 spikes of different sizes. The second group had 3 small spikes in it. The deer all ran past me and then milled around for the next hour splitting up into small groups and working off in different directions. Sadly they all ran past me the first time so I didn’t get a shot and then I had to watch them break up into small groups and wander off in different directions. One small group of 5 wandered back towards me but was very spooky and seemed like they are knew something was wrong, maybe the hiker had left scent? Because they were where he had walked through the woods. They took over 30 minutes to wander over towards me, it was a small doe, a big doe, a spike, small 4 point and 6 point all wandering over towards me going to walk right in at 15 yards. Just before they cleared the brush for a shot, a dog walker started calling their dog and spooked the deer off in a different direction and they were gone.
I didn’t see anything else after watching these two very large groups of deer for over an hour and then having the 5 come back towards me. However, I probably saw more deer tonight then I have in the past month hunting and it was a whole lot of excitement watching them and hoping that some of them and maybe even that 10 point would come back my way and I would get a shot.
Great evening to be in the woods. I saw lots of people out hunting on my way to and from my hunting location, did anyone else have an exciting evening? Were you lucky enough to harvest a deer? We would love to hear your hunting adventures.