Saturday was finally here….nine months of waiting, three months of meticulous practice, weeks of preparing gear, seemingly endless hours of scouting …today is the day that brings all the dedication to the long awaited for cause; OPEN SEASON! Alabama’s bow season opened Thursday, October 15th. I was not able to hunt until today. They say good things come to those who wait!! So keeping this saying in my mind I trudged through Thursday and Friday for the weekend.
I woke up to 45 degree weather…watching the weather the night before, I really didn’t expect it to get that low. I had already activated my warm weather ScentLok during my preseason preparations and had figured I would just wear my cool weather base layers. This about face in our weather called for cold weather gear, not the wool but the “chill to the bone” cold weather gear. I broke out the ScentLok TimberFleece and threw it in the dryer to activate it while I took a shower. I grabbed me a Trail Mix Bar for breakfast, a bottle of water and a pack of snack crackers, just in case I got hungry on stand. I quickly laced up my snake boots, grabbed my backpack, bow and I was out the door at 5:45 a.m.
I had to drop Richard off close to his hunting area then I had two gates to go through and a short walk to my stand. I didn’t leave quite early enough because the sky was already starting to glow by the time I got to my stand at 6:05 a.m. By 6:10 I was settled with my gloves, facemask and release on–arrow nocked and bow hanging at the ready. One drawback of getting to your stand latter than usual, you miss taking that morning nap just before the sun comes up.
I was in the stand about thirty minutes when I seen something move in my peripheral vision. I slowly turned my head and made the connection; a six point buck ducking under a branch. He looked up in my direction, bobbed his head a little and went back to searching the ground for acorns. About twenty feet behind him was a 5 point. When the 5 point was completely out of cover, I saw some more legs through the limbs, another 6 point walked out. The first 6 point went to bobbling and checking me out again but I remained completely motionless. The three bucks sniffed around the ground seeking acorns and when all three had completely passed my stand and were out of sight to the left of my stand, the smaller 5 point came bouncing back into my shooting lane looking back in the direction that they originally came from.
I saw movement on the trail and honed in on the movement; it was an 8 point. He was a nice eight point that was just out to his ears. He walked into my shooting lane at 18 yards and sniffed around for acorns. He was a nice buck but was going to be an even nicer buck next year. I made my decisions not to shoot. I had the pleasure of watching these 4 bucks interact among each other for 10 minutes before they started meandering back the way they came. At one point the 5 point and 6 point started sparring and I could hear their horns hitting together.
I didn’t see any other deer the rest of the morning but did see a beautiful red coat coyote. My first thought was a fox because it was so red, but it was definitely a coyote. I got a text from Richard around 9:10 a.m. that he was headed my way. He had four does that ran across in front of him and shortly after they ran back through. That is all he seen the entire morning. When he finally reached my stand another coyote busted out of the area.
I had a racoon come in and all but climb in the tree with me. I have a small video that I am going to edit and put online later. I just love when stuff like that happens. I even fooled a squirrel to about 3 feet of me. So funny! You could actually see its expression change the minute I opened my eyes wide at it–then it didn’t stick around but long enough to get turned around on the limb and shot out of there. So funny!!
It is the hunts like this one I experienced that brings all the dedicated hard work and devotion to full circle and instills in you an appreciation of the sport. What a wonderful way to start of my 2009-2010 season–seeing 4 bucks within the first 30 minutes on stand. I hope my season follows this pattern and casts luck upon me.
~Practice often, hunt hard, harvest ethically and may your drag be short! Good luck this season!~Nancy Jo
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009