Shotgun Deer Season one opened here in Iowa last Saturday, December the 6th. The season runs from December 6th - 10th. As you may have heard from Darrell over at AlphaTrilogy - Iowa experienced some high, cold winds, for those brave enough to head out to try their skill at bringing down a deer or two. Checkout his hunting experiences with friend Dana and Dana's cousins.
This year I didn't have my license on day one. It wasn't until the evening of Sunday, day two, I went out to wait for the deer to come through with the "normal" evening routine. Which didn't turn out to be routine. Nobody showed up on cue. Not even an orphaned fawn or two scratching under the Oak trees for acorns. Of course, earlier in the day, there was a mixed entourage touting their presence in our front yard and just beyond the fence of the North pasture. It wasn't until my mentor/ neighbor went through his field, that there were any signs of the much hunted animal, at a distance to great for my shotgun to do much good. Several bucks and does were headed for the cornfield north of our North pasture. Monday, day three, I spent some time in the funnel area I worked on this fall. Saw a fawn resting...it would get excited and move just a little further away when I would stand up occasionally to assess the situation. As the chill started to set in from inactivity I went on a search. Looking in a tried and true location it brought an adult sighting, but with a loud exiting snort it wasn't going to stay around to become a target. The story goes if you wait long enough the deer will return to the same spot it left. I didn't wait for it to return. Gun activity in the surrounding countryside drove some does to run across open territory into the safety of the tree line seperating our tilled fields. Very majestic leaping as they swiftly ran for what they perceived as the corridor to safety. Merlin, my mentor, has gotten a doe and button buck so far. Last night, day 3, I heard a couple of shots ring out around 5:00 P.M. pretty close to my house. It was Merlin, he was chasing a deer I had moved along from my yard after my return from scooping our drive in the preparation for another round of weather. He said he had a chance at a 10 point buck and let it walk because he thought the venison would be too tough. I encouraged him to get that guy if the opportunity repeated itself. The technique in cooking older animals is low heat for an extended period from the reading I have done. Today, day 4, we have frozen rain built up on the surfaces with snow changing to blowing snow by the end of the day. If I don't get out today or tomorrow, onto season two from December 13th - 21st. I bought two landowner tags to tempt fate... or the weather. ;)