Thursday, October 28, 2010


I pull into the road where I hunt and see 3 does in the cow pasture with the Holsteins. I slow the truck down and watch as the does walk away and cattle stampede towards the fence that separates my truck from the pasture. They lean in against the wire, mooing loudly until I pull away. I drive slowly the rest of the way, keeping an eye out for any more deer. It’s still raining out and I hope it keeps raining. Since its about 75 degrees out, the rain is the only good thing about the weather. I pull in the drive and park my truck in the field.

Trace Adkins “This Ain’t No Love Song” comes on the radio and I have to stay and listen to it.

I get out of my truck, change into my camo and raingear, then spray down with scent killer. Then I make sure I have everything I need for the sit in the treestand. Grunt tube, range finder, binoculars, knife, Tinks, camera, cell phone, hat, gloves, release, arrows, bow, flashlight, headlamp. Yup, that’s about it. I rarely use anything but the rangefinder and cell phone, but it makes me feel better to know I have everything I’ll need. Since its raining I don’t worry about bringing my video camera and remote. 

Weighed down with about 30 pounds of gear, I walk to my treestand, stopping on the way to change the memory card in my trail camera. The LCD screen reads 129 pictures. Probably all does and small bucks is my guess. I haven’t got a picture of Mr. Big in almost 2 weeks but saw him about a week ago in the field.

I climb into my ladder stand and get put an arrow on my bow. I take out my camera and look at the pictures from the trail camera. Mostly little bucks and does, but there is one picture of a nice 8 pointer, though of course it’s at midnight.

I see a doe walk into the field about 100 yards away and start to get excited. Maybe the deer are moving after all.

It stops raining and the doe disappears into the woods. Disappointed I sit back and wait. Looking up at the trees I see that the rain has knocked off all but one leaf from the sugar maple in front of me.

I get a text from my boyfriend telling me the weather forecast. For the next 20 minutes I’m occupied with my cell phone.

The sun is coming out as it’s going down. My butt is starting to fall asleep and I’m beginning to think that by the end of the season I’ll have a permanent imprint of the metal bars of the treestand seat imprinted on my butt. I take off my rain jacket and sit on it.

I send a picture of the 8 point to my boyfriend, then take some pictures of myself with the camera. They come so stupid looking, I promptly delete them all.

The wind is starting to pick up. I see a few does come out in the field again but they’re acting skittish and I have a feeling that they aren’t going to come under my stand. I see a deer at the edge of the field with its head down. I take out my binoculars and watch it for ten minutes, until my binoculars fog and my eyes blur and the deer finally picks up its head. It’s a doe.

They don’t come under my stand…Instead they bed down at the edge of the field about 160 yards away.

Dusk is falling. The woods have gone almost eerily quiet and I’m almost afraid to breathe. I sit as still as possible and listen for the sound of a deer coming through the leaves.  The last leaf from the sugar maple comes spiraling down, gets caught in the brook and is swept downstream. A squirrel races across the clearing in front of me, rustling the leaves loudly and making me jump.

There is only about 15 minutes of shooting light left. I feel my cell phone vibrate in my pocket but I don’t take it out since the light of the screen would be too obvious. I look across the brook at the worn deer trail, the same trail Mr. Big always travels in my trail camera pictures. I start daydreaming about what would happen if he came down the trail now and I had my chance at him.

It’s too dark to shoot so I gather my things together and quietly climb out of my tree. The does are still bedded down in the opposite field, and the hill between us prevents them from seeing me. I walk a little dejectedly to my truck and load everything back up.

I pull out onto the highway, already looking forward to my next time in the stand. Next time could be it. The weather is supposed to start cooling off and rut activity should pick up. This time of year, anything could happen!

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