2015 Opening Day Recap

I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm, 5:15. Went down stairs and I made my coffee. Thank goodness. Ate my bowl of honey nut cheerios, checked work email and then it was time to get ready. I was just about ready when my dad pulled in the driveway. He told me where I was going, where everyone was sitting also, and sent me on my way.

My dad’s .243 over one shoulder and my seat over the other shoulder I started off. The trail walk was quiet and easily to maneuver. The field portion was crunchy. I have come to realize I’d rather walk in the rain or snow where there is hardly any noise made. I entered the woods and found the perfect spot to sit. At 6:43 I head the first shot.  Now it was light out, but not light enough to shoot I would say. The shot did not come from our land so that was a good thought at least. Around 7:15 I had roughly 23 does and fawns ranging from 50 to 170 yards from my seat. I think I chose a dang good spot. I was waiting though, I want a boomer this year and a first shot clearing the woods should not be of a doe unless certain that’s all there is. Luckily I didn’t have to wait, they sniffed a coyote that was passing by and spooked. Then my brother in the next woods over shot another coyote. First kill of the day for us and not even a deer. From 7:30-8:30 the neighbor farmer shot at the end of the woods and spooked all 23 deer plus whoever they picked up to my end. My brother then shot a doe while they ran to him. During this I took a single shot at a doe at 50 yards. Clear on its shoulder and I have no idea where it went. To be honest I was swearing up a storm in my head. If I had my shotgun I would not have missed that deer but for a gun new to me using it in the field and not on the range for the first time I’m chalking it up to non-experienced use with the rifle. After that my dad called and with multiple misfires I was swearing out lout.  I was able to take a shot at 170-190 yards at a doe and I got her, twice, and she ran. She was lost, injured and dying, which I hate and is not wanted, but she is dead now.

With all that fun I got out of the woods and went to my parents’ house to see Zoey and to get more coffee. The rest of the hunting group arrived from their morning sit locations and we went to push woods. The first set was unsuccessful no shots fired and a few small bucks spooked up from the start. From there we went behind the farm, which was also unsuccessful. A few shots were aimed at some does and a 3 year old buck we call “boots”. He’s called boots because he has four white “socks” and is a standout if he’s in the field.  He’s a 7 point, very high but not as wide. He would score around 115-130.

After the farm we went in search of my morning shot doe. We spooked up roughly 50 doe and out of that 2 were shot. Which is kind of bad, but at least one was taken. To be truthful this set of woods has never had a successful push. The deer run different directions every time and unless there are men on ever side and every corner and every long range post nothing successful would happen.

From there it was called lunch time. We then went and pushed by the thruway, spooked up 5 does. One was taken by Gary and I shot at another and missed. The final push was behind my brother’s house.  We left with 2 more does I shot one but she kept going and my cousin finished her. She was of good size.  Lou shot the other and she ran into the neighbors brush so he got permission to track her down.

My dad and I went to talk to the neighbor to get permission for Lou and then we went to the shooting shack to watch the corner of our big woods for a 9 point that likes to hang out around 300 yards. He never came out but we ended up seeing 2 Bald Eagles.  We left the shack and went to the other side of our gravel pit to see if anything was in the valley.  Crawling up a hill we saw there were 9 nice size does. We army crawled into position with my dad’s rifle and my shotgun in tow. My dad lined me up to shoot at a large doe. I was low, very low, so he reset it and I shot again. This time we believe I was high. My dad then took back his gun, which I don’t blame him and we shot after the 9. They were running in circles as the shots were echoing off of the hill at the other side of the valley. I was ready for him to shoot, but my ears weren’t. After his first shot without my ears plugged they were ringing with dust in my eyes for a good moment.  My dad took 3 more shots and ran out of bullets because we didn’t bring many at all, definitely not expecting this. I then used my shot gun, and failed, which didn’t surprise me with the day I was having. We ended up taking 2 more does and at the same time my brother took 2 more does. We walked and scoured the field to make sure we didn’t miss anything with all of the commotion and as far as we can tell we didn’t.

I went to get the truck while my dad cleaned them and back to the house we went. We had to strategically plan our hanging so we wouldn’t break anything. I ran the winch while Nate showed up with his two and then we started to put them up. I posted a photo and you can see that it was a great day for our group. We utilize everything we kill in some fashion and it keeps our freezers full until next year. By doing this we not only help the local farms with population control, we also are eating a healthier leaner meat and cutting down on the grocery bills.

Not only do I do it for the food, I hunt for the love of outdoors and watching nature come to life. I also hunt to hang out with my dad and brother.  Not being on the farm anymore I don’t see them as much and getting to spend an afternoon with them, just being outside, not working, not around stress, just sitting, is one thing I always love.

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