Opening Day 2013 Recap

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.

Opening Day

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!

11 Responses

  1. Henry
    Went out early. Around 8 had a nice fat doe come in. I waited for a little while and just about to draw and wouldn't you know it her little ones came in. Let them walk. Went out at night, but the wife wouldn't let me stay out too long. Had a nice spike buck that provided me some entertainment. Just kept walking in front of my stand and would stay at a perfect broadside position. Then would go away do it again. Well he did it 3 more times. Finally he walked off and I got down, walked back to the house and made the wife happy. Going out in a few minutes. Using my new dear rear decoy tail wagger. Got it set up next to some corn and other attractants. Looking forward to see how it works. God Bless and best wishes on a successful Saturday hunt to everyone.
    • Scott
      I was in Harford County, and this is my first bow season after many missed. It was an awesome time to be in the woods. I had a yearling come in 20 min after getting in the tree (3:00pm) and watched it mill about for an hour. About 15 minutes before sunset I had 3 does come in from behind me, but they remained behind a bunch of brush, about 25 yards away and continued to move away from the satnd. All in all, I saw four deer, didn't shoot at any of them, but had a wonderful time! Does anyone know where to see the stats of what has been harvested to date in Maryland? Have a great season! Scott
      • admin
        Scott, Great to hear from you. Sounds like you had a good opening day as well. Sometimes it isn't about shooting anything at all, but about being out in the woods and being able to enjoy what you see and hear. I spent 8 hours in a treestand yesterday and saw in totally about 22 deer. For opening day that was great and probably the best I have had in 10 years! Some of the deer I saw I could have taken if I wanted to, others I were too far away but none of them were what I was looking for on this opening day. But either way it was a thousand times better than work and I enjoyed the day greatly and that is what is important. As for your question about the stats of what has been harvested to date, to my current knowledge nothing exists like that. The Maryland DNR releases a report during the summer months which reports all the harvests from the past hunting season. But nothing that is current or real-time exists like that to my knowledge, I wish it did. Thanks for the comment and please keep us posted on how your season is going!
    • admin
      Henry, Sounds like you had a good opening day. I hope your Saturday has been as good or better as I wish you good luck. I was unable to get out today due to other obligations but I sure wish I was. Let me know how you did!
  2. Brian
    Went out opening day in the afternoon and stayed in my stand until dark. Surprisingly I saw no deer. I think I will change stand locations and head deeper into the woods for this evening's hunt. Saw 6 squirrels and a fat groundhog who was milling around my food plot. Took a shot from about 30 yards with the new crossbow and was a hair low so now I know to aim a little higher next time. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
    • admin
      Brain, So far this year all we have had in our food plot is mostly fawns.. I hope you have a better hunt this evening and I look forward to hearing about it. As for your groundhog, they are great target practice, but man are they hard to hit. The one I shot about a week ago I missed my first arrow, but it was at like 8 yards and it went right over his back. Good thing for me they are stupid and he came right back out 2 minutes later and I took the same shot and nailed it with a little adjustment. Keep us posted on how your hunts are going!
  3. alan
    First time out in a new area I just got permission for. Saw 9 today while sitting from 1 - 7 pm. All were out of range and stuck to one trail. I'm moving down to where they were moving next time out (next Saturday). One looked to be a pretty respectable buck, the rest were either unknown or fawns. It was nice just to be out again and I knew today was going to be more scouting than hunting.
    • admin
      Alan, Sounds like you had a good day out. 9 deer is a good day, come middle of October when we don't see anything or see 1 in an afternoon we will wish we are seeing deer like that. haha Glad you had a good day and sometimes scouting your first day out makes the rest of the season better so I wish you the best of luck next weekend in your new stand! Good luck and keep us posted!
  4. Clay
    Greeting, Glad you had some action on opening day. I went out in the morning but didn't see anything. However, I did hear a grunt when I was approaching my stand about 6AM. I have a question, How long does a 25lb protein block last? I put one out about 3 weeks ago, and it's totally gone. I am wondering if someone took it. Thank you.
    • admin
      Clay, Sorry you didn't see anything on opening day. The 8 point I saw opening morning was grunting at the fawns, not something I am used to hearing this early in the season but also not abnormal either. Bucks, even more so young ones will do that sometimes this time of year because of the changes their body's are going through and it's a way of communication sort of. As for your question about the 25lb protein block, depending on what it was made of and how much rain we get, and how many deer are eating it, mine normally last anywhere from 1 - 3 months.. With the current weather we have had mine is still out there going on 2 months and will likely have another month as they are mostly just licking it. I would say if it's gone in 3 weeks either you have a whole lot of deer eating it or someone took it since we haven't really had any rain! I hope someone didn't take it!
  5. Clay
    Thank you.

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