Monday - 11/21 - Opening Day
Mainly being a bow hunter, I still get excited for this time of year. Even with only starting my reemergence into the outdoor world five years ago, there is still a little bit of tradition here. As a little kid I always went hunting with my grandpa this week, now that he's beyond the point of being able to tote a gun and run the ridges, Foggy Mountain is mainly left to my uncle and myself.
As with any eager morning I got to my stand early, I met my uncle Rick at the bottom of the mountain as he was unloading his ATV and we wished each other luck and we were on our way. With a heavy mist in the air, that quickly turned back into a drizzle, we both knew this would be a long day. This proved to be true, on any normal opening morning, you can normally count 75 to a 100 shots by noon. This wasn't the case, I didn't hear my first shot that morning until nearly 8:00 AM, that wasn't as shocking as it was to not hear a second shot until 10:28 AM. Shortly after hearing that second faint shot of the morning, I saw my first deer. Well, more like a tail, it was a deer that was bumped up by someone, it was off to the races and nothing was stopping it. Luckily I was able to see that it was a doe. That was my only action all morning. The rain was still coming down and I wasn't getting any drier so I decided to take a 20 minute lunch break. I climbed down and still hunted my way back to my Jeep for a quick lunch, I was hopeful to at least jump something up on the way out, but still no luck.
It wasn't until a little after 3:00 PM that I saw my next deer. It was a 3-point that I had been seeing on and off all of bow season, to be honest I thought it was 6-point I had pictures of from the previous weekend. I actually have some video footage of this deer, from bow season. This deer snuck in behind me before I even saw it. It was already at 75 yards when I saw it and heading towards a thicket with little to no visibility. I proceeded to watch this deer with my binoculars for 45 minutes after it bedded down in the thicket. This deer wasn't moving, I ranged it at 111 yards, but no matter how I looked at it, I didn't have a shot. I had a choice to make, watch this deer until it was to dark to shoot or try and sneak out of my stand and get a clean shot on it. After weighing my options, I decided if I could make it out of my stand I'd have a good shot at making it through another thicket adjacent to the buck on the opposite side of the creek.
I made it out of my stand without spooking the buck. I knew the rest should be easy, right? Over the next 20 minutes I managed to close in on buck at 45 yards, this was the first spot I was able to get a clear shot. Luckily, I was able to
|My trophy from Rifle Season... So far...|