Once more deer season came and went. We didn’t hunt with muzzle-loader this year. My buddy’s not into that… So, we went out into the cold and laid in wait with those new-fangled brass cartridges. The first day was bitterly cold and windy so I stayed home. My buddy got a young buck around middle of the day.
A few days later, it was Friday but we saw nothing. It was bitterly cold. The next good weather was a weekend so the area would be crawling with weekend warriors, and we passed. Finally, on Monday, we had warm enough temperature and light winds so off we went. The morning was uneventful except that my gloved hand grew cold enough to need a chemical hand-warmer, the rusting iron type, date-expired in 2014. That made me comfortable and the fingers flexible. My buddy saw a doe come right up to us but I saw nothing as it was on an edge hidden by the trunk of a thick poplar. A flock of chickadees also buzzed across the opening we were guarding.
The afternoon had settled in a bit when I saw a distant form glide across the opening. It was about 200 yards away and I saw through the scope of my 308 what looked like a mature doe. I was cold enough that I didn’t want to wait longer for a larger buck… Unfortunately, I had in the chamber a 180 RN bullet so I paused to eject that and chamber a 165 BTSP, more effective at that range. Unfortunately the deer had moved all the way across the opening and I could not see it in my scope. My buddy spotted it and picked it off with a 7mm Remington Magnum with 150 SP. The deer ran back across the opening and disappeared. We waited a decent interval then found a fire-hose-like trail of blood with the deer about 20 yards from where it was hit, quite bled out.
Again it was a young buck with antlers very tiny and weighing perhaps 200 pounds. It was likely a fawn last year. The bullet made a classic hit through the boiler room, nicking the heart. The guts were empty so it likely was out having brunch. It’s hanging in the garage now waiting to be butchered. The first deer sent about 20 pounds of meat through a new electric grinder. I’ve eaten some burgers of that and it’s delicious.
So, again I did not shoot a deer although I came very close. The deer season ends this week and we’re having a spot of very mild weather. That changed the movements of the deer the opposite of what we’re used to at that spot, moving left to right heading out to the fields instead of coming into the forest right to left. Also, “stop, look and listen” was replaced by walking on. It’s all good. The deer are still a bit of a challenge and food in the freezer. Clearly, numbers have increased greatly after three years of bucks-only licensing.