Well, I hunted the weekend as planned. Spent Friday evening and Saturday morning in Loch Raven and Saturday evening I gave our private land a shot.
I went to an area that I hunted a lot last season, but this year it has lacked a lot of sign and I have been focusing my time on other locations. But I was hunting with friends and we all decided it was time for a change of scenery so we gave it a shot. We got in the woods nice and early, and it was pretty chilly, the way I like it. But the wind was kicking up and I don't want to complain, but man that wind made my hands and face cold! I was in an area we use to see does all the time as I figured it would work both ways, I could either get a doe for the freezer or made a buck would come by trailing does. Well, I wont keep you waiting I didn't see a thing Friday night other than a billion squirrels. Not a single deer not even way off. Moral of the story, if that is why there hasn't been much sign, maybe I made the right choice by not hunting there this season.
Picture perfect morning, cold and crisp with temps in the mid 20's it was a perfect morning for deer to be up and moving and with rut happening I figured the bucks would be moving! Well, I was sorta right. Got in my stand way early enough because this area is where the deer have been moving right at or right before first light. Not yesterday, nothing moved at all early. Around 7:20 AM I saw a doe about 150 yards away cutting along this thicket and she had a buck hot on her butt. I saw her for maybe 1 second and the buck maybe a half a second. I never really saw his rack other than to see he had antlers and I know he had a good size body.. But they came and where gone in a blink of an eye, and that was that. I attempted grunting and even a couple doe bleats thinking maybe I could draw them back down the hill to me or get another bucks interest that may be in the area. Well, nothing. Finally, about 20 minutes later I see another doe coming from the same place the past 2 deer came from, she took the same trail but she was eating as she went, I got to watch her for a minute or so. Like the others though she was gone almost as fast as she showed up and was still 150 yards away. That was the end of the morning other than a fox. Around 10 AM I decided it was time to get out of the woods since I hadn't seen a deer in hours. The woods was dead, nothing was moving not even squirrels.
Interesting evening hunt at our private land. Got in the stand late, as like normal I attempted to cram more things into the day than I had time, so got in my stand about 3:45 PM. It sure didn't take long.. 20 minutes later I see a set of antlers coming down the hill through the thicket. It was our local 6 point that we have posted many pictures of. He came down the hill, walked 9 yards right in front of me and went out into the field to eat.. While he was out in the field I see a small button buck come down the hill but he hung back in the thicket about 35 yards in front of me. Finally, the six worked back across the field and into the edge of the thicket where button buck was. They starting fighting, the button buck was the one trying to fight but he was more or less rubbing his head on the 6's head and neck and every now and then the 6 would push him away with his head. Super funny to watch but not really a fight. They did this for 15 minutes and then the six went and laid down and the button buck walked along the thicket right in front of me and finally worked out into the field himself to eat. Finally, around 5:05 PM the 6 point got back up and went to go eat out in the field again with the button buck. I watched them as it was getting dark, and the button buck kept rubbing his head on the 6 and when they weren't doing that they were eating. They finally worked off into the woods behind me and I was about to get out of my stand (as it was past shooting light) I just didn't want to bust them out of the area when I hear them come back. So, I lowered my bow and as it got almost impossible to see I finally said the heck with it and got down. I heard them run, but they didn't run far and I think the fact that it was dark out helped me.
That was the end of my hunting, nothing too exciting and nothing that I wanted to shoot was close enough. Another tough few days in the woods. This year has been hard and it seems the deer population is much smaller this season in Loch Raven. I know there are more deer there, I think they have just spread out to places they do not get pressure and places like in neighborhoods and business parks that a join the Loch Raven property. Then they head out into the areas that we all hunt during non daylight hours feed throughout the night and return back to the safe havens before daybreak. It's just a thought, or I am just really hunting all the wrong areas. But many of other hunters hunt the same areas I do and I haven't seen anyone harvest a deer, and I also have heard many stories about others not seeing much or at least seeing very few. So, I don't feel left out but I sure am thinking what I can do to make some changes in where I am hunting to hopefully produce at least more deer sightings each trip.
I know this weekend was also the annual youth hunt. Anyone get their youngsters out and get luck? We would love you to share the story and pictures if you did! We fully support getting the youth out in the outdoors and the youth hunt is a great way to get youngsters interested in the sport!
Anyone else get out bow hunting this weekend? Did you have any success? What did you see and hear?