Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Week of Rifle Season Review

This first week of West Virginia Rifle Buck Season is over now, one more week to go, but I'm not going to be able to get out until Saturday of next week. The joys of growing up and the need for a "real job" to be able to support yourself sure puts a damper on my hunting time. Even with work this past week I was able to get out in the woods on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, not too bad, four of the six days I could be out. I'm sure if you've been following along with my blog you know Monday was successful, if not you can read about it in the post "Opening Morning Rifle Season Success." The next two days moved like molasses in winter time. When Thursday finally rolled around I was lucky enough to get out and spend the day on stand. Most years I only get the morning due to family dinners and such, but this year my parents snuck away to their beach house for the holiday. With my parents gone and having a very understanding girlfriend it allowed me to get another full day of hunting in, with an already slimmed down hunting season that I use to (Thanks Cassie!!).

One of the few bucks I saw this Rifle Season
I was glad to be able to be out on, Thursday, my first day of Thanksgiving break, it almost paid off, but reluctantly I let the spike walk. He entered off the hillside behind me that the group of does and spike had on Monday, but this time it was different, he wasn't trailing a doe, he was just browsing for some food. I watched the spike walk down the side road by the creek, at this point I traded my gun for my camera. I tried to get a picture at the distance he was at, but no luck till too far for my point and shoot camera. As I continued to watch this deer he continued browsing and began to cross the creek and start walking towards the thicket between my tree stand and the main road leading around the property. To my surprise, I watched this spike for nearly 40 minutes browsing around the thicket and my foot plot, I did get to snap a few pictures and managed to play with my grunt call a few times to get a reaction. I could have used another deer in the freezer, especially since he was stand in the main road, right where I could have back the Jeep down to, looking at me for a few moments, but I figured that the busted up spike should at least walk one more day. Who knows if he'll make, but I figured I'd do my part to let him try and grow up to be a bruiser.

The temps finally started to call in the latter part of the week which allowed for the snow to finally start falling on Friday and Saturday. These days kind of blended together due to the fact that I hadn't got to see anything more than some does. Now that the snow was on I started to do some late season scouting as well, both days I sat in stand till lunch, then went home, warmed up, and grabbed a bite to eat. Then on my return to the mountain I would slowly stalk the property and try to pick up on any deer sign that I was about to pick up, I was actually joined on Friday afternoon by my cousin, Zach, who was visiting from Texas. He wasn't hunting, more just going along for the ride since he was only in for a short time, but he is an avid hunter and photographer so don't be surprised if some of his work shows up here in the future. But I used Friday and Saturday mainly to relax and just try to learn more about my property and spend some time with family.  

Even though I wasn't able to harvest another deer to finish filling my freezer, I still considered the end of my first week a success. I learned some new things about my property, was able to pass on a small buck, see some does and yearlings, and spend some time with family. We often forget that sometimes, hunting isn't completely about bring home an animal, sometimes is more about the time spent out there.

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