9/20 First Deer Hunt of the Year

The boss man was gracious enough to let me slide out of work early this afternoon. He left me just the right amount of time to make an honest attempt at a good deer hunt. A few short words in the yard with a neighbor and I was off to find a quiet spot in what’s called the deer woods.

There are two types of deer hunters in this world, the people who go to deer hunt and the people who go just to be gone. I’m a part of the latter. I won’t speak for all of us, but to me, the deer are of secondary importance when I head out for a hunt. A good deer hunt should be quiet, the quieter the better. It’s a chance for a slow down, like the old men say, its a good time to let the brain chew on things. There really is something special about the atmosphere of a fall deer stand.  Of course, sometimes mother nature has her own plans about how a hunt should go.

The journal entry:

  • Papa’s stand
  • Afternoon Hunt
  • High in the low 80’s, low in the low 70’s
  • Sunset 7:18pm
  • Rain, Rain, and more Rain
  • Strong NE wind

Hunted Papa’s stand today, just decided to call it that while I was up there. It makes the location sound so much better than calling it what it is, a 40′ conex box on the edge of an Ag field.

This year’s crop is corn and its been cut for a while now. Just thinking back, The last deer Papa shot out of that field was over corn and a long shot too. I even think the last deer I shot with him was over the same field.  Afternoons like this almost carry the memories to me on the breeze, each new gust a welcomed recollection of the past.

It was blowing this afternoon, almost a sure sign that fall was on the way. The green leaves are starting to turn on their edges. I watched 10 hen turkeys feed out across the field early. They were all keenly aware of me, each one taking a turn sizing up my figure while the others fed. The flock kept their distance as they pecked and scratched their way across the field. They made a big pass out into the field and worked their way back the same.

About the time the turkeys got out of view, the rains came. The first shower was about 10 minutes of drenching downpour. I did my best to keep me and my important things under the over hang of the shelter. There was only a small margin of error between wet and dry up there, so small that while my front half remained dry, the back half got soaked. After it passed, I assured myself the deer would sense that it was time to eat, but they didn’t show. Then another rain came.

This second one wasn’t quite as long although it was every bit as hard.  After it passed, I told myself that I would be a fool to leave now. So I stuck it out and the third rain came.  At this point it was so close to dark that I was going to see a deer or I wasn’t and I would go home wet either way.

Finally, somewhere amidst the downpour, a doe appears in the corner of the field. She moved through in a way that said the rain was even too hard for her. She returned to the woods as fast as she had appeared.  After that, my spirit was broken, my belongings all soaking wet, so I said the hell with it and went home.


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