Opening day 2013 is coming to a close and what an exciting but long day it was. I hit the woods early this morning at one of my favorite Loch Raven locations and man was I excited to be in the woods. On my way up the tree, I bumped a deer out of the thicket that was about 50 yards off to my left. I have no idea what it was, never got to see it, but it ran off. Shortly after settling in probably around sunrise, I had a fawn walk through the woods right under me. She walked on by me and never stopped, headed up into the thicket, but she didn't have a mom with her. Around 7:30 AM, I had two fawns come from off to my right which is a normal morning travel corridor. Shortly after I saw the two fawns, I heard something grunting, more of a young grunt, but it was a grunt. All of the sudden the fawns came running toward me and stopped 15 yards away and started feeding. Two minutes later I looked off where the fawns had run from and I saw a deer, I quickly noticed it was a buck. The buck started walking in my general direction which was when I got a much better look at him. Over the next 45 minutes the fawns bedded down under me and the buck, which I quickly learned was a very nice but young 8 pointer fed any where from 23 to 40 yards away. It was super cool to watch him and to be able to decide if I wanted to shoot or not. I almost took a shot, but decided he was a very young 8 pointer and today was opening day and that I would let him live for another day. While I was watching him, something spooked the other deer that were behind him that I didn't know were there. At which point, 3 fawns, the 8 pointer and 2 does all went running right under my tree and off into the thicket. Hopefully, I will not regret not shooting the 8 pointer, but today was opening day and he was a small 8 pointer. He will be a super nice deer next year if he makes it through the season. Below is a picture from my stand from my morning hunt. All and all I would say it was one of the best opening mornings I have had in a long time! I would also like to note that the 8 pointer was totally out of velvet.
Now onto the evening hunt.
This evening I headed back out to Loch Raven in a different location than this morning with a good friend of mine. We both were super excited to be in the woods on such a nice evening. You couldn't ask for better weather for the opening day of bow season. We got into the woods nice and early and soon after we had fawns everywhere. We saw fawns, mostly without mothers all evening. I couldn't tell you how many we saw between the two of us, but a lot. Later in the evening, between 5 - 6 we started seeing mature deer. I saw a handful of does and one spike whom was still in velvet. So, between the fawns early on and the mature deer as the evening went on, I saw deer pretty much all evening off and on and in total, I probably saw 10 - 15 deer. All and all, I didn't shoot anything, but I saw a good buck this morning with a few does and fawns. In general, I saw a lot of deer this evening.
I would say between what I saw and the beautiful weather, Opening Day of the 2013 bow season was a success for me.
How was your opening day? If you are going out tomorrow as your opening day, we would love to hear how your Friday or Saturday went. What did you see? If you got something we would love pictures!
Good luck to everyone hitting the woods tomorrow!