As my whitetail deer season comes to an end I want to ask you, did you have a successful season? To me a successful season means shooting a deer I am proud to shoot, having good shots, and enjoying myself. This year I didn’t shoot the cross bow, and now that 8H does not allow antlered deer to be taken during muzzleloader season I am not going out; even though it is open until the 22nd of December.
This season I filled my doe tags. I had multiple shots, with 3 confirmed kills. The 4th was lost, I know that it is dead in the woods but I could not find it. My first deer shot was opening day, with my dad’s .243 rifle. After misfiring in the woods, yelling and being pissed off, a group of deer appeared 200 yards in the field and I shot. I hit the deer but did not take it down. I shot my second and third doe that weekend as well in the woods behind my brother’s house. The first one took me by surprise. We were at the end of a push and I turn around and she is looking at me, up the hill, 20 yards away. I shot, I hit her but she kept going. My cousin took the final shot on her and he tagged her; as the kill shot is the tagging shot in our family. The next one I did take down the next day, with one shot while it was running. My third doe was taken the following weekend by my parent house along the thruway. Again single shot, this one was tricky, as it was running through thick brush. The fourth doe was not my proudest moment. With my muzzleloader I shot a doe, but it was smaller than I thought and just was not comfortable shooting. After sitting by cows and being nibbled on for a few hours I finally selected a deer. Yes I was supported and had good aim when I shot but something felt slightly off and was not happy with myself.
I attempted to fill my buck tag this year by taking aim at a lovely looking 2.5 year old 8 point. I had passed up 2 other 2 year olds this year and a handful of 1st year bucks. I had a perfect lined up shot but after shooting and taking the .243 (different one from opening day) to the range, it was determined that the site was off; up and to the left.
I went out on the last day of the season to find the buck again. I saw him, but did not get a good shot and unless the shot is good I will not take it. So that wrapped my season. The weather was and still is strange. Its about 20 degrees warmer than normal which means that we’re sweating on our walks, crunching and in full camo. The deer are not as easy to spot, well to me at least, as they are in snow.
To me though I call this a successful season. My freezer is full, which will last me until next season. I was able to see two bald eagles which remind me of my Uncle, rest his soul. The sun rose and set for me numerous times and to see a sun come up in the woods, that first spark of light shines over the trees and in an instant the world comes alive. It is one of my favorite experiences every year, watching the world calmly come alive; it eases my soul and whatever is troubling me at the time. The bonding with my dad and brother, along with my cousins, new family members, and old friends was wonderful.
I am lucky to have my own land to hunt on. To be able to pick and choose what deer I want to shoot at, as I know not everyone has that choice. I am lucky my season can extend for multiple weeks from bow, to regular, to muzzleloader if I want and need it too. I am lucky that I had such a wonderful season even if it was antlerless.
So was your season successful? Did you enjoy yourself, take conscious and great shots, and have a full freezer? I know some count success on antler points or size, but my season success is based on multiple items that I experience and I hope that you all have them as well.
P.S. you can read about all my of shots and deer that have been and attempted to be taken this year in the past weeks posts 🙂
P.S.S. I actually did this in vlog form first, but had a tiny person interrupt me so I went to writing. Would you prefer the vlog (video blog)? Just curious.