This weekend lived up to all expectations. My Dad made the 3 1/2 hour trip from southern Indiana to southwestern Ohio to spend some time with me in the woods. In years past, we have had good luck hunting this small property, and this year the luck would continue. Every year the Park District asks for volunteers to help keep the population in check on their properties and we are always glad to help.
It’s early November and the weather is perfect. The temperatures started out in the morning around 30 degrees before slowly increasing to a high of 50 degrees with a wind coming from the north-east. We were optimistic and with our climbers, camera gear, and other gear on our backs we made our way up the steep hill on the property we were hunting. This year being our third year hunting this particular property together, you would think I would have learned to get in better shape prior to season. Unfortunately I hadn’t learned from my previous experiences. The first morning I decided to sit in our “killing tree” which is where my Dad and I killed our best archery bucks to date last year, only 5 days apart. My dad continued up the ridge to a saddle about 1/2 mile away. The morning was fairly slow for me as I watched a couple small bucks move through my area, meanwhile my Dad was having a great sit. He put down a slick head and a couple of hours later a button buck. Normally we have a “no button” rule, but knowing we are helping the park district reduce the deer population they are fair game. By the time we had finished taking pictures, field dressing, and dragging back to the truck it was a little after 3:00 PM.
Saturday morning was a little cooler with a slight wind coming from the north-west. It was very cool with a heavy frost and we just had a feeling it would be a great day in the woods. This time we both made the trek to the back-end of the property. The woods were alive Saturday morning as I saw 16 deer (5 bucks including 1 sure shooter) and somehow managed to miss a doe cleanly at only 18 yards. We regrouped a little after 11:30 AM to grab a bite to eat for lunch before heading back out around 2:00 PM. The afternoon brought in a rain shower which seemed to last forever. I threw a rain cover on my Canon XA10, put on a rain jacket, and waited for the storm to pass. It was a little past 6:00 PM before the rain finally let up. Shortly after, a young 5 point buck made his way to my stand and freshened up a couple scrapes as he worked down the ridge line. When packing up for the evening and lowering my GamePlan Gear leech pack loaded with camera gear down from my stand, the bow rope connector broke and sent my pack in a free fall from about 10′ up. Needless to say, my XA10 didn’t survive the fall. However, everything else in the pack seemed to be OK. I ended up seeing 21 deer on Saturday and I was eager to get back in the stand on Sunday morning.
4:00 AM came early on Sunday. We were again expecting a slight breeze from the north-east and slightly warmer temperatures. After seeing a shooter yesterday morning, I decided to head back to the area and setup a little closer to where he crested the ridge. The morning was slow when around 9:15 AM I noticed a little movement about 200 yds further down the ridge. I pulled up my binoculars and noticed there were 2 does headed my direction. Without having my primary camera, I had to rely solely on my 2 GoPro HD cameras to SELFILM the hunt. I ranged a couple of trees along their direction of travel at 35 yards, and got ready as they approached. As the lead doe entered the shooting lane near the trees I had previously ranged, I drew back and split the difference of my 2nd and 3rd pin behind her shoulder and squeezed off the Chocolate Addiction. After waiting about 15 minutes to make sure she was down, I texted my Dad to let him know I had one on the ground. His reply….”Me 2.” This was the second time we were able to double on the same hunt. After tagging our does, we snapped a few pictures, field dressed them, and made the 2 hour drag back to the truck for the second time.
Every year more and more memories are made. Memories I will never forget and will always cherish. Nothing can beat being able to spend time with your father doing something you both equally love. In only 3 days of hunting we were blessed to take 4 antler-less deer, and spend a lot of quality time hunting together.