Well, I'm back from hunting. I probably should be out this morning, but I had business in town. I probably won't be back out until Friday AM.
So far, after 9 outings, it's still 0-0-0 for me. It is not for lack of targets. If I had wanted a doe or a spike, I would have it all taken care of. There has just not been something worth shooting so far. However, the trip has been quite worth the effort, and it relates to the thread on Alsheimer vs. Rue.
I have never seen the transition from Seek to Chase so evident:
Saturday, Sunday, Monday (8/8 -- 8/10): Does were placid, but ran off whenever a buck appeared. Lone bucks spotted with nose to ground, like beagles, oblivious except for what they were chasing.
Tuesday(8/11): Bucks running back and forth over the ridges with does running ahead. When they stop, the does are panting, close to exhaustion. Some does, not being chased, are conducting business as usual.
Whether this data is Pro-Alsheimer or Pro-Rue I will leave to you.
Without a big guy to shoot, I was sort of playing it for laughs. I tried rattling, calls-- threw the kitchen sink at them. It all worked, especially Monday. Tuesday nothing worked.
Moose could not contain himself and shot a spike on Sunday morning. From what he explained, he's been reading my weblog and tried my "I crush your head" trick using his Winchester Model 70, but flipped the safety off. Ooops. His shot was perfect; the trigger broke as a complete surprise-- both lungs and the top of the heart. Word to the wise: if you're going to count coup with a modern centerfire rifle, it is best to do it without a round in the chamber. Moose has learned a cheap lesson: the red rubber thingy on the back of the rifle is not an eraser. All marks made with 30-06 are permanent. He also learned: "You can't eat antlers." He's tagged out, but most of the venison in the freezer is his. His spike rack goes up next to mine in a place of prominence in the dining hall as a reminder of how fast a season ends.
I have to admire his eye for cooperative deer. His didn't jump in the back of the truck, but it came close. I was about 300 yards away, and he had it in the truck by the time I got down from my stand and walked over. We took it to Jake for processing. I told Jake about my reference to him as an expert on deer in the rut. He had a good laugh. He prefers the photoperiodism theory. He said Opening Day had been busy, but not as much as some years-- "A few, and a few big ones." was his assessment.
Oh, and by the way: In encounters with 15-30 deer in four days of hunting, We were busted only once on stand. It was downwind, and I think she thought better of the idea, and decided to show herself a quarter hour later. We were using only sodium bicarbonate to kill scent, and both Moose and I wore the UV-radioactive orange ponchos I used as a sample in the UV-Killer test. I had deer and turkey treat me like I was part of the scenery throughout. In fact it was rather surreal Monday AM with young bucks to either side, grazing in the pastures, turkeys pecking about the stand, and me just 12 feet off the ground sipping coffee and eating my mid-morning snack in an open stand.