Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hunting Journal 12-26-08

When the 5:00 AM alarm went off on 12/26/08 I did not want to get up. I turned off the alarm and lay there for several minutes trying to justify staying in bed. I used every excuse in the book, including the fact that I would probably not be successful. The only thing that got me up that morning was thinking that I would hate myself the rest of the weekend if I didn’t go. It was to be the last day I had free to hunt that weekend and if I didn’t go I know I would regret it. I finally crawled out of bed, had a scent-free shower, a little breakfast and then headed out to hunt. I had decided to return to a buddy’s farm that had recently come available for me to hunt. I had only been there twice before and I didn’t know the territory very well. I had explored it a little bit and knew that at this point in the year catching a buck there with my limited knowledge would be slim. I decided that this would probably be more of an exploration than a hunting trip but with time running down on the season anything was better than nothing.

I arrived at my spot a little before light would be coming up. I got dressed quickly and started on my hike. I had decided to take an old logging trail that led up to a power line clear-cut. I had walked about half a mile and the sun started coming up. As I neared the top I jumped two does that I believe I had seen a day or two before. I settled the crosshairs of my Traditions Pursuit II on the bigger doe and the perfect broadside shot she presented was very tempting but unfortunately it wasn’t a “doe day” so I had to lower the gun and watch her walk cautiously away. I calmed myself down a little and forged on up the trail. When I reached the top I was greeted by some of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in a while. It looked like the “sheep country” you see on TV. It was spectacular, huge, tough, rocky, and I loved it! The wind was blowing a strong, cold wind against me but it couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I continued on along the path until it eased over in to the forest that run along the left side of the ridgeline I was traveling. It didn’t take long to realize that this was prime deer territory and my thoughts were soon justified when I jumped a decent group of does. I continued down the path for around a mile and the deer sign just kept getting better and better. I saw several more groups of does and located several spots to set up treestands. I finally realized that I had learned most of what I needed to see on this initial exploration and realized that I was accomplishing nothing more than spooking the deer at this point. At that point I turned around and eased my way quietly and happily out of the woods. I spent the rest of the day enjoying hanging out with my family and knowing that I had found a great hunting area for the future.

I was so happy that I had gotten out of bed that morning because I located a prime hunting spot! I could have lain in bed all day and accomplished nothing. Every time entering the woods will not produce a kill, but if you pay attention you can normally accomplish something. I knew starting the day that I was most likely going to leave the woods empty handed. However my initial negativity of the morning evaporated and I had a great day! I hope to hunt the area I found soon but I will have to wait for the right wind. I could have pressed further on and explored the area more but I found out enough to hunt it when I have the opportunity. After the season I’ll go back and explore it further but as of now I’m just happy that I overcame my laziness and negativity and got out there and had a great time exploring and scouting the woods! I’ve always heard that you can’t take an animal if you’re not in the woods but you also can’t learn much about your hunting area if you aren’t out there either. It’s really tempting to stay in bed some days but most of the time it’s worth getting up and getting going!

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