This fall was not a normal hunting year with the drought and the EHD. In October, Paul and Roland dealt with high winds and warm temperatures, which kept the deer movement mostly at night. We left my property and hunted on the edge of the Sandhills and were seeing 70-80 deer come out on a wet hay meadow. This was the only green spot in the country at the time. We saw 3 nice muley bucks and were able to get within 42 yards of one, but the wind was still blowing 40 miles per hour, so Roland opted not to release an arrow. The next night, we saw the same bucks again, but they didn’t present with a shot opportunity.
November 8, Jeff and Ronnie had better weather and the rut was kicking in. They had lots of deer movement, and several times bucks were chasing does by so quickly that they couldn’t get a shot off. There were a few evenings that the bucks stepped out too late for a shot. Jeff connected with a nice 8 point on Sunday morning, and followed with a fat doe on Monday evening. Ronnie had to go home with close calls on shooter bucks and visions that will continue to dance in his head.
Steve and Allie came out in October for a three day doe hunt, but had to leave early. Allie had a couple of close encounters where the does picked her off and she didn’t get a shot. They came back the weekend after Thanksgiving, and Allie arrowed a doe, but was unable to find it. This was Allie’s first deer with a bow. If you’ve hunted with a bow very long, not recovering a deer is heartbreaking, especially when it’s your first. Hang in there, Allie! Steve says next year they’re coming to shoot bucks instead of does, so that he can shoot what kept walking under his stand.
Opening day of rifle season, my good friend Tom shot a GIANT 35 yards off my fence line. He says the deer was headed for a bedding area on my side of the fence, but he got the drop on him before he got there. Congratulations, Tom! This deer had 16 points and scored around 180. This is a deer of a lifetime!
During the season I received many calls from hunters looking for a new spot to hunt because they weren’t seeing any deer due to EHD. With that in mind, I feel like we had a pretty productive season.
I’m still getting pictures of shooter bucks on my trail cameras, so I anticipate having good bucks for next year!