I honestly can’t believe it’s the middle of January already. Only a few weeks until the end of North Jersey’s Deer Season…at least until September.
I’m beginning to lose interest. Mature does aren’t moving during shooting light, I don’t want to shoot a fawn/button buck/small buck, and the big bucks are starting to shed. I’m a little unsure of whether or not I’ll be hunting the same property next year, but I’ve passed up small bucks on this property for the past two year, and just in case I hunt it next year, I’ll continue to wait for a big one. But, now I run the risk of mistaking a mature buck for a mature doe and shooting it.
This was easily the worst season I have ever had. Usually by now I have three or four deer down, and at least one of them an antlered buck. I feel like I was cheated this year. My hit list is a lot longer than my kill list. All I shot was a extremely short antlered spike buck in early October. Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome hunt…it just isn’t how I pictured my season turning out.
A trip to Colorado for elk, 2 trips to Missouri and a trip to Illinois for Whitetail…I returned with some good memories, and saw some big deer, but I also returned empty handed.
It was my first year ever hunting out of state, so really I didn’t expect too much. But, even though I didn’t get anything it was still awesome.
But the NJ season was most disappointing. At the top of my hit list was a huge ten point that I nicknamed Mr. Big. (I’m sure most of the hunters in Northern NJ have heard my sob story about how I hunted him for months only to hear about someone else killing him in a deer drive opening day of firearm season.) That was hard to swallow, and definitely my biggest disappointment of all.
Makes me almost wish I wouldn’t have passed up on ALL of the other smaller bucks I saw during the rut.
But, when I think about it, hunting one specific buck is like wanting to be in a relationship with a specific guy that you have all picked out. Any other just won’t do, and the longer it takes to get him, the more you want him. Soon enough it grows into an almost unhealthy obsession, and you convince yourself that there is NO WAY that anyone else could possibly get him before you. Well…it doesn’t always work out I guess.
An unfilled Illinois tag, 2 Missouri tags, and several NJ tags all unfilled.
I may be able to put a deer down in the next few weeks, but I may just have to make tag soup and start counting down the days until next year. If you want big bucks, you sometimes have to settle for nothing!