Well let me start out with this. I already tagged a buck in September with a nice calm shot and no recovery problems. Since then I missed a doe on the ground in October at 20-25 yards, and the rest of my poor shooting and shame is chronicled below. The standing corn is my curse this year.
Saturday, Nov 7th: Near record warmth and southerly winds defined today. Started in mid 50's and worked it's way up to low 70's. Good grief where did my 30's and 40's go that we had in October??? I saw one buck. A probable 2.5 year old 5 pointer (one point was broken off). I could have shot him, but decided at last minute to just do a practice draw and try to get him to stop. Screw up number one: I gave him the quick "mahhh" while I was still drawing back. He snapped his head up and saw me drawing back. He blew out of there pretty quick. Oh well, I was not going to take a shot on him anyway.
Sunday, Nov 8th: Repeat of Satuday for weather. Light southerly winds. I got into stand with a near full moon lighting everything up like a street lamp. bumped deer while getting to stand. shortly after sunup I hear a deer due south of me start blowing that infamous "I smell human" alarm. The woodlot is on an adjoining property and is hunted by several different people. The blowing is getting louder so I know the deer is coming my way. I am peering through trees and spot a buck (still blowing by the way) coming towrds my stand location. He has antlers past his ears and that is what I was looking for. Talk about a softball pitch. I know it's coming, I see it well ahead of time and the deer thinks it has just evaded danger so is just walking calmly at this point. He gets to about 30 yards into my first shooting lane. I have already drawn at this point when he stepped behind some brush. I give a soft "mahhh" and he stops right where I wanted him. His head is even behind a small forked tree and his vital are slightly quartered away from me. I sailed the arrow right over his back [:-]. I didn't know I missed at first casue he just kinda jumped a little and just stood there for a few seconds. He startes to walk off. He didn't even run. I just stood there watching him wainting for him to go down. I looked back at where he was standing and that is when I saw the blaze orange of my vane. I just wanted to cry, but instead shed a manly tear, got down and retireived a clean arrow. Sighhhh.
Monday, Nov 9th: Slightly cooler temps, but no where near where I would like it to be this time of year and still a ton of standing corn, even though I can hear the combines non-stop all around me. I did not see a single deer Monday.
Tuseday, Nov 10th: Repeat of Monday. No deer. I am seeing an increase of rubs and scrapes, but nothing compared to what I saw in the last two years. Talked with my uncle who had started to shell corn just north of the woodlot I was hunting. He was saying they could have had all the corn out in a day or two, but the problem is there was too much moisture in the corn and the elevators/driers were at peak capacity. They just can't process the harvest fast enough. He said it would be late November or early December before the corn is out... Muzzleloader season anyone?
Wednesday, Nov 11th: Much colder morning, frost on ground! We hit 26 and winds are out of the NE finally. Will be sunny and we will get into low 50's. I bump a deer coming into my stand. That is it. No other sightings all day. Grrrr... Frustration starting to build.
Thursday, Nov 12th: I took a step back and gave up the morning to go with wife to a doctors appointment. Cold frosty morning again and is pretty much a repeat of Wedensday. Got out that evening. I saw one small buck out at about 50 yards and then a doe right at end of legal shooting light. I have changed stand sights and kept moving around playing the wind. I am just not getting into postion at the right time. At east I am starting to see deer again.
Friday, Nov 13th: Temps are warming back up started in the low 40's and winds turned southerly again. I actually bumped a real nice buck and a spike when I was moving my climber for the afternoon hunt to another location. I am also seeing a lot more scraping at field edges now. I was a little disheartened when that big buck blew out of the woodlot, but set my stand and stayed anyway. I did not see anything until 10-15 minutes before legal shooting light. It was the spike! Ok, after so much sitting and no deer I decided to tag out and take the spike. He was about 20 yards away but in the east end and it is dark. I can barely make him out in the waning light. I drew back and when he stopped to sniff the gound I released. He jumped, but didn't run. I waited cause it sounded like a good hit, but his body language said otherwise. He starts to walk again and continues too sniff the ground. Are you kidding me! I got another arrow nocked. He stayed within range and was getting ready to pass through another shooting range at about a 90 angle from my first attempt. I release again when he stops. Same exact result. I slumped back in my climber in pure shame and watched him walk out to the field edge and start to work a scrape. I waited til he was done and for end of shooting light, got down, and went home. I tested my bow which is dead on at 12 to 15 yards when I am about an inch to inch and half below the bulls eye. I just made horrible shots. Onto to firemarms opener.
Saturday, Nov 14th: Another near record warm day! Made it up into the 70's. Got my two sons situated and headed back to my climber. I waited until legal shooting light before heading into the woodlot. I left my two arrows and was going to look for them and still hunt while doing it. No deer came in and I found my arrows. I made my way back to the climber and took a minute to call and check in on my sons and then call home and let Mom know none of us shot each other[8|]. I did not get up into my stand until about 9 am. I was not in there 15 minutes and I here someone open up with a shotgun in the field next to the farm. I look to where the shots cam from and there is a deer just hauling across the winter wheat heading right for me. Softball pitch #2. I stand up long before he gets to the woods and can see hime clearly as he gets closer. It is the same little spike from yesterday. Ok, sorry bud, but your luck just ran out or so I thought. He gets to the woods and slows to a walk I let him get to within about 25 yards and broadside. I have a scoped 44 mag rifle that I have shot and can puch out the bullseye at 50 yards and at a 100 yards shoot sub 2 inch groups easy. I've only used one kind of ammo and am shooting that today. Chipshot. Choooooookeeeeeeed. I shoot. Deer acts like I hit him cause he does the mule kick. Runs to my left about 50 yards and then stops, stands and looks around. He then starts to walk away like nothing happened. I quickly eject my spent case and reload. By this time he is about 80 yards and at a very acutely quartered away from me. I give a loud "mahhhh" and he stops, turns and looks back. I have him in my scope and shoot again. He kinda does the quick jump, but again does not take off. He stands there a few seconds and then takes a couple of leaps and he is out of the woodlot. Uhhhhh, wow. Same, buck, four shots, two with arrow and two with a 44 mag. I sat back, laughed at myself and said that has to be the luckiest buck, or I am in the worst streak ever. I dubbed him "Lucky Spike" and vowed to let him walk if I see him again. I would probably shoot at him again and catch the ricochet in the forehead or somehting. I didn't see any toher deer for the rest of the day.
Sunday, Nov 15th: Front moved through with an approaching storm system. It is now much cooler and overcast all day keeping the temps from climbing much above 50. They will hover in the 40's all day. Perfect weather, finally. Scrapes are now appearing everywhere it seems. I am only able to hunt in the morning. I see one deer, but it was a dandy. Nice big buck out in the middle of the field about 300 yards out. He is wanting to go into the neighboring woodlot. However, right at sunrise I heard someone shoot. I actually can hear their vocies so they are already recovering whatever they shot. It could have been Lucky Spike bacause the day before that is the woodlot he was headed to when I chased him away. The buck I was now intently watching was fixed on the woodlot. He was downwind of it so he had his nose in the air. He decided that was not for him and took off. I hoped he would run inot the woodlot I was in, but he paralled it instead. I quickly got down cause I kinow there is a ditch that runs right by the woodlot I am in and sometimes thos bucks will follow that or they will cross and make a turn south and head for another area which right now is about 400 acres of uncut corn. Well he didn't run the ditch like had hoped and I did not get the opportunity to cut him off and make a shot. He crossed and turned away from me. I watched him bound into the saftey of the uncut field and disappeared. That was it.
I came back to work two days early cause the weather just got really rainy. I know the deer will still move, but I need a breather and refocus. I am taking a three day weekend this upcoming weekend and hopefully I will get another opportunity.