Well, we finally had a break in the crazy non-winter weather, a real, honest to Goodness, Colorado Low brought in a bit of snow, cold temperatures and wind. As unpleasant as that is for hunters, it’s also unpleasant for deer and they spend more time in the forests, public lands, where we citizens may hunt them after dancing through hoops and paying a licensing fee.
So, this afternoon a buddy and I went out again and scouted a popular place for deer. It’s just an “L”-shaped opening in the forest that gets in the way of deer in their wanderings so they have to show themselves to us snipers laying in wait. There were plenty of new tracks made in the last day or so, crisp, fresh and of all sizes, going every which-way. We guessed that our usual spot was now optimal and set up in the middle of the “L”.
We waited and we waited. Then, we waited some more. Nothing happened. The stupid wind died, came to life and repeated from random directions, mostly from the west. Finally, with seconds left in the shooting day with darkness descending, a form moved across the opening about 150 yards away, beyond the effective range of my .54 round balls. It was already too dark for me to make out the details and I could not even see my open sights so I whispered to my buddy and pointed downrange. The deer immediately noticed and fixed us with a stare. My buddy didn’t fire. Because the deer wasn’t moving he didn’t see it at all and he didn’t bother to deploy the scope nor the monocular around his neck… After another blurt from me the deer ran off, curled up like a rabbit, so I expect it was a doe but at least our effort brought the sight of fur. Big bucks move with a more rigid spine more like a battleship than a fawn-factory. I think it’s just a matter of flexibility.
It’s puzzling that my partner could not see the beast but he related that he had been staring west into the sunset so his night vision was fried. Sigh… We packed up and headed home empty-handed once again. At least I saw a deer of some kind and a shrew running on the snow. We were rewarded with a nice hot cup of cocoa, somewhat like my mother used to make by the gallon for us kids.