I hit the woods for the final day of late muzzleloader season in the freezing cold... BRRRR
Decided to do an afternoon hunt with a family member who took me to their private land to hunt. Got in the woods a little later than I normally would but with the cold it just wasn't worth getting in the woods earlier. Got in our stands about 2:45 pm and settled in for the evening.
Not much was moving early on, until about 4:05 pm. I saw a small doe coming around the hill looking like she was headed right around the hill to me. Well she wondered back and forth and then a second smaller doe appeared from the same general area. I watch both of them for a time wondering around this hillside about 100 to 150 yards away. They both wondered down to the bottom of the hill which was further away. Then I saw more deer coming down the same hill further away yet, but all headed down the hill into this bottom. In total there were 6 deer. I watched them all wonder up and down this hill for almost an hour. It was now just after 5 pm, and several of the deer had worked away from me out of sight going out the bottom. Then several more came up the hill slightly closer, maybe around 90 yards, but in the thicket further than I could shoot. 2 of the 4 wondering back up the hill where they came from and out of sight which left with me 2 on the hillside now wondering around.
It was now about 5:10 pm, getting very close to the end of shooting light and I had decided to take a shot at this big doe that had now wondered down into the bottom that was about 105 yards away I was guessing. I was lining up my shot and waiting on her to walk into this one clear spot. Just then I saw 2 does running down the hill that is across from me and down into the bottom. They had been spooked by something I guess as they were running pretty hard, and they started up the hill I was at the top of. They slowed down about half way up, but were still uneasy and steady walking.
I waiting less than a minute on the bigger doe to come up to the top of the hill, which she did and took about a 45 yard shot. After the smoke cleared, I watched the smaller doe run down the hill through the bottom and back up the hill where the other does had come from with the other two that were still down in the bottom.
No sign of the deer I had shot or shot at. Well, got down and walked down to where I shot her and pretty quickly found some hair but no blood. Thankfully there was snow on the ground has I could follow the track from the doe. We followed them down the hill and finally found a single drip of blood, and then as we kept on there was splattering blood but not very much. I was getting worried I screwed something up and I may have put a bad shot on her. We continued following the deer the further we went the more blood there was and finally we came around a pile of stickers and there she was. She only ran about 80 yards but in the cold dark in extreme thicket it seemed like miles.
In the end, I ended up shooting her high as she was down the hill from me and slightly back so it was a liver shot. I also noticed that there was a lot of blood frozen on her legs, so I am thinking it was freezing before it could make it to the ground or something.
I sadly didn't get any pictures because it was pretty late by the time I got her out of the woods and to the truck. Plus freezing cold, and I just wanted to get her to a butcher before she froze solid. Plus, she was just an average doe.
Now on to the final two day gun season this weekend! Good luck!