Hunting Opening Day of Maryland Gun Season 2017

I hit the woods with family on opening morning. I headed out to a piece of private land in Harford County for the morning hunt. Picture perfect morning and yet I forgot to take pictures. Got in my stand nice and early and was ready.  Well, it was a slow start to the morning, didn't hear many if any shots close.  Finally, around 8:15 am I heard a crunch behind me and turned a looked and here comes a little 5 point. as fast as I got turned around and raised my gun, we are talking a 2 seconds maybe, the deer had walked right on by me and was over near the property line about 45 yards away from me.  I took a look at him and decided he was small both body and antlers and I wasn't shooting something small on opening morning.  Well, a little while later we heard folks on a farm across the woods take several shots.  AND....... Well, that was the morning stayed in until almost 11 am and didn't see another deer or even hear any more shots.  It was, a slow morning to say the least, but at least I saw something.

The evening hunt I returned to Baltimore County and hit another small piece of private land I have access to.  I got in the woods later than I had hoped due to travel time and other stuff between my morning hunt and afternoon hunt. I got in the woods a little before 3 pm with a friend joining me for the hunt.  As I was walking into the woods headed to where I would be hunting from the ground I heard a noise and quickly stopped. 4 deer busted out of the thicket at the bottom of the hill and took off up the other side of the hill onto the property across the way.  After they took off, we quickly got down to where we would be hunting from and got settled hoping they might come back around the hill.   A couple minutes after getting settled in I saw a flick of a tail and looked across the hill and there was a deer.  I quickly realized there was 2 deer and they were working across the neighboring property towards a soy bean field. They worked out into the field and started feeding.  We watched the walk back and forth for what seemed like forever, but was likely about 30 minutes.  It was doe does, and they were not in a hurry to do anything but eat.  Finally, something across the field from them spooked them and they came running back down the hill into the woods I was hunting.  They slowly worked into somewhere I could shoot. However, I made large mistake in it took them 20+ minutes to work into where I could shoot, but I followed them in the scope waiting on them to be clear of trees, brush and etc. and just hoping I could get a decent shot. Well, I guess that was a mistake, by the time they worked close to a clearing I was getting a little shaky and we were still talking a 75+ yard shot.  Normally, it would be a pretty easy shot for me with my trusty muzzleloader.  I lined up on a 79 yard shot, and took it, the smoke cleared and the deer was gone.  The second deer however, didn't run and was just walking around confused what happened. I took my time reloaded the muzzleloader and got ready to attempt a shot on the second doe.  Well, she wouldn't get out from behind this one tree.  Finally, she took two steps forward and was clear of the tree and she laid down.  I was meat hunting either way so I figured 2 was better than 1 anyway, and not sure if I had hit the deer or not I figured a shot at the 2nd deer was worth it.  Well, this shot was a little bit more tricky, just over 100 yards and she was laying down.  I was real shaky by this point but I did my breathing and attempted to settle in because it was slowly starting to get dark and I wanted to get this shot off before it was too late.  So, I lined my shot up, held my breath and shot.  The deer ran about 10 yards and stood there, I was like ummmm did I hit or miss. finally she took off along the hill ran to the top and was gone.  I packed my stuff up and headed to where the first deer was, no sign of a hit or any blood, we went and walked all around where the second one was laying, nothing.  I walked all the thicket looking for blood in the leaves, nothing.

After walking around for a while I decided it was sadly likely two misses.  I have gone over it in my head and even went back over it Sunday and I think I shot low both times, or hit branches between the deer and me.

Regardless,  I left opening day empty handed and a little frustrated.

Hopefully, I will get back out soon either bow hunting or gun hunting and get another chance to redeem my marksmanship.

How did you do on opening day?  See anything good or better yet harvest a trophy?  We would love to hear from you on your hunt!

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