This weekend's report doesn't involve harvesting a deer. I wish it did, but like most of my stories, it always entails a laugh or two.
I decided to hunt the same lock on stand Saturday morning and evening and Sunday evening that I hunted the previous weekend. I just know there is a buck or two passing through the pines and making his way through the 400 acre hunting club that we hunt on. I’ve been tempted to hunt somewhere else other than that stand…like on the ground further in the pines 75 yards before the lock on, or on the 200 yard foot trail that leads from camp to the back where the lock on is located.
The stand I've been hunting is on an oak tree right in the middle of other oaks that are raining acorns right now! To the left of the oaks is a clear cut and to the right of the oaks is nothing but planted pines. The trail path divides the pines and oaks. It’s perfect and it's beautiful in there. It’s a long walk from camp…..and it gets spooky in there at night. Don’t do what I do and let those bright eyes trick ya at night!!
Saturday a.m. my hubby, Phillip, helps me with a Code Blue scent drag to the stand. That stuff sure smells purty! Phillip was on call this weekend so he wasn’t in any rush to get to his stand. That morning I was wide awake and ready to see some deer! Once it was daylight, I heard one gruntin’ about 4 or 5 times. I could tell he was behind me from where I came in at....possibly around the spot where I started the scent drag or maybe a little closer. He never came to me. I saw a doe mid morning. I hit the doe bleat can 30 minutes later and not long after that I heard something over my right shoulder. A deer was coming out from the pines. I could tell it was slowly coming, so I sat still, waiting patiently. It crossed the path, and came into the oakes right below my stand. I turned on my camera to record him. It was a small little spike. His horns were so small they looked like little thorns off a rose bush!! LOL He eased into the welcoming oaks and ate some breakfast. I recorded him walking around before he crossed the ditch. He eventually made his way out peacefully.
All that morning I was laughing at all the squirrels chasing each other. One squirrel got spooked and went running across the ground…..hit a stump, flipped, and then ran up the tree he was trying to get to!! Took everything I had not to bust out laughing!!! I watched two squirrels chase each other up a dead tree! It's so funny how LOUD it is when they do that! I know I don't want their claws to get a hold of me!
I forgot to mention we had a cold morning. It was low 40's, possibly in the 30's. I can't exactly remember. I just remember preparing myself for a VERY chilly morning! So of course I had on several layers, foot warmers, a neck gator and a very warm, thick beanie hat. I left my hair down that morning since I could tuck most of it in the neck gator, helping with insulation. After a few chipmunks tricked me into thinking I had a deer coming, I took a deep breath and felt an itch on my face. Ugh! My hair was tickling my face. I figured that some pieces of hair was starting to make it's way out from the beanie hat and neck gator since I was turning my head left and right. So I sat their and desperately tried to not move or raise my hand. I just HATE moving in the stand. I never know when a deer is gonna sneak up behind me! Ya know? I feel the tickle run down the right side of my face. I thought it was gonna get in my eye, but it didn't. Next thing I know something falls in my lap and the itch is gone! I look down and OH MY GOSH! It's a granddaddy long leg spider! He's in my lap and I'm holding my breath! With my head down, I look up with my eyes to make sure no deer are around b/c I this spider has to GO! I count to three...one...two...three!! I snatched his leg and THREW him out of the stand!! I froze! Hopefully nothing saw me if anything was around! I took a deep breath! I couldn't believe I had a granddaddy long legs crawling on my FACE! UGH! I think last time I sat in this stand I had a spider crawling on me. THIS was starting to get a little creepy!
I finished my morning hunt. I could tell there were some deer crossing the path back behind me that morning. That’s why I think I need to move and sit on the ground somewhere further back (up in the pines on the hill BEFORE I get to the stand). OR!! Put up my new climber somewhere back there!! But, I'm gonna give this lock on in the back the benefit of the doubt!
Saturday evening I walked to the same stand. I thought I was gonna have another snake encounter (as I did last year) b/c where the path winds out of the woods and out along the clear cut edge, it gets bright and sunny out on the path. It was right before where I shot the snake from last year. I was walking on the trail and went around the one corner and something scuffed from the path and into the brush and then I coulda swore it came back out into the path. When I heard it my heart sank and I had kept walking to get two steps away. I stopped and turned around. I couldn’t see anything. If it was a snake, I wasn’t sticking around to find out. I QUICKLY made my way from the hot, sun stricken path and into the shadowy pines. They led me along the big oaks where I began to drag the Code Blue scent again. While I was trying to cool off from the afternoon heat, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I noticed something on the brim of my hat. I waited a second and then something fell in my lap (yes, again!). I looked down and had another spider crawling around in my lap! Except this time it was one of those little small, black jumpy ones! He was a little bigger than the average small ones we see around our house. He kept jumping opposite of where I would swat at him. I never knew where he went, so I was praying I got him brushed off my pants and that he didn't crawl in a pocket or anything!!
I didn’t see anything until 5 something. I caught movement straight in front of me way in the back. Saw one....then another. It was two deer coming in to feast on acorns. They calmly eased in and walked straight in the ditch. They eventually made their way through the ditch and circled around the area until dark, eating acorns the whole time. From what I could tell they were both does. I had to wait until well after dark for them to leave. Phillip and I were txting each other. He had to go help another huntin' partner get a doe that he shot out of some thick brush. About the time I was ready to stand up, I heard something WAAAY off in the distance behind me. Sounds like a coyote?? Not sure. So I sit there and wait. It’s pretty far off. But I wait to hear which direction it’s going b/c I have a far walk back to camp; a 200 yard walk The eery noise sounded like it was coming back from camp. So as I intently listen, it sounded like it was getting closer. The closer it gets, the howl or “noise” it makes sounds more and more like a horse neigh. So now I can tell it’s right behind me up on the path somewhere...or it could be in the pines. I sit there and I txt Phillip again, but Phillip couldn’t come b/c he was helping Kerry. I sit there with my red light on looking back behind me...my gun is ready. Now I hear another one in front of me waaaayyy off in the distance. It’s coming towards me. “NOT ANOTHER ONE!” I thought! I’m freakin’ out by now. Coyotes make me nervous. Guess cuz the guys have spotted a HUGE one at the club (the size of a small deer). So the one I hear behind me is making this neighing sound but sounds like it’s calming down…..or slowly beginning to stop making the noise. Not sure if that means it’s gonna sneak up on something (me!) or what! Sooo...I whistled……I whistled again….and again. It finally went silent. I didn’t hear the 2nd one anymore either. Now I don’t know what to do b/c I don’t know if they just stopped making noise or if they scurried off. One of the guys was up at camp waiting on me. His keys and other huntin' stuff were in the truck, so I really needed to get back to camp. I finally just said "The heck with it!" and stood up…..whatever was down there scurried into the pines and stopped. I scuffed my feet on the metal stand. It scurried some more. I still couldn’t see whatever it was. So I got everything in my backpack --- unlatched my safety harness, and climbed down. Once on the ground I turned my head lamp light on to the bright white light. I couldn’t see nothing around me. I went to get the drag hanging from a tree and made my way out of the woods. Needless to say – I was walking pretty fast. And everything is so dry in there I'm sure I sounded like BIG FOOT coming through there at the pace I was going! I got back to camp in less than 2 minutes and there were 3 guys up there just talking. They said “I thought we were gonna have to come get you!” I said “Well ya’ll didn’t hear them coyotes?!?!” One of em said “Yea I heard em! I think there was a pack of em that made their way through here!” At least I made it out safe and sound that evening!
Sunday evening I went back to the same spot. I pulled the scent drag AGAIN. A lonely doe came in around feedin time. She ate acorns in the ditch and on the other side of the ditch forever. One time she got stuck in the ditch and I felt bad for her b/c she was trying to jump out and she couldn’t get out!! I started to laugh, but then felt bad. LOL She eventually got out. She eats until it gets dark. ANOTHER deer behind me comes in from the pines and comes into the ditch. I can hear em drinking and picking up acorns from the water. It’s dark and I have no idea if it’s a doe or a buck. So I don’t wanna get down and spook it. I txt phillip. He comes to get me b/c I wanted them to hear him walking through woods and run away…I didn’t want them to hear me in the stand and get spooked from me being up there. LOL
So even though I didn't harvest any, seeing a few deer is better than not seeing any at all and having a few "pest" stories to tell is always fun (after the fact)!