Thursday, December 6, 2012

Iowa Shotgun Deer Season One - Day Three

Hunting the past two days of  deer season one left our tags still available to be filled.

Word of mouth information about day one had made a heavy decrease in the area deer population with groups hunting adjacent properties .
This morning I rambled out to the blind before the sunrise to get the day started. The difference this time  was the absence of a deer snort immediately alerting me to their presence , a change from the last two mornings.

The direction  of the morning deer movement shifted from a north/south direction at the start, to a south/north today.Which was curious because the wind was still coming out of the south. As I sat in the blind I saw deer of size just as the light of day was coming up, but of course they didn't stick around long enough for me to make sure the shot I would send in their direction made contact.

By 7:30AM,  with one last doe stopping to check the air long enough for me to finally send off a" first shot",  I sent her running without success...I closed up the blind windows, stepped out of the doorway, and headed back to the house. Getting back to the house I started my daily housekeeping activities, because I was scheduled to be away running errands for my Mom, and chauffeuring her to a Dr.'s appointment in the afternoon. 

Well, things took a different path about an hour later.

A call from my neighbor alerting me to a drive to flush out a big buck by other hunters west of us had me headed off to the ravine, just in case he ran this far...

I didn't immediately go clear out to the end of the ravine which is surrounded by open cropland, but stopped by a fence line, and hid behind a clump of trees. My initial decision allowed me to see a doe with a couple of fawns run across where I would later take a stand behind a fallen Cottonwood tree. Before I moved out I was visited by the sound of snapping and cracking ground debris under the foot of some creature in a hurry to get beyond it's current situation. Turning to look instead of holding my gaze forward , I saw a one antlered buck startled by someone standing on the path in front of him. He twirled around at which time I let go a shot. We were in a location where the brush and fallen limbs created a challenge for both man and creature to get around in a panic. His footing had him slipping and trying to gain his composure to high tail it out of there...I shot once more as he traveled back the way he came.

My first reaction was to follow him. Hearing the shots my neighbor who had come to try to move the big buck my direction in the event it arrived, came to see if he could help. I told him of my situation , it was then that  I moved out to the end of the ravine to wait for things to happen, since this was not the animal he had been told about.

After waiting and hearing shotguns go off to the west  it was decided the big buck probably wouldn't be headed this far east - time to go back and see if I could find that one antlered buck before I needed to get ready to leave for the afternoon.

Examining the trail the buck took there wasn't any blood to verify it had suffered any type of injury. However, I was still driven to see if it was okay, or if I could tag it. I kept going, surveying the terrain up and down . Sometimes you just have the feeling you need to keep looking.  Not changing trails, I came upon him laying down crosswise. He was slow to get up, but that he did. He was injured ...I followed him until he ran across the ravine with no signs of stopping. With other commitments looming in the time frame I had to make some choices.

I knew I wouldn't be able to get back before dark to continue my hunt, and I didn't want to leave him to the timber overnight. So, I contacted the neighbor who had been on the buck watch with me to see if he might be able to take a look around. He had some troubles locating him at first - there wasn't a blood trail. I am grateful to him and his son for bringing the one antlered buck back to the homestead for me to claim.

Hubby helped to get him suspended up off the ground until I could get him skinned. Had to keep him high or I would have been inviting the coyotes to a feast

I can't say how much he weighed. I don't have a way of checking that statistic.

 I can tell you this about him - he is an old buck. After checking to see  what the condition of his teeth were, it became evident that all his molars are missing. The only teeth left were in the front and they still looked to be in good shape.

The base of his antler and broken stub have good diameter.

When I first came in contact with him
on the trail it was hard to miss he no longer sported a matched pair of tines.
Then of course the question came to mind,"How did he lose it?"

Was it absent due to a battle with the younger, bigger bucks inhabiting the area, or had he been running in one of the groups over the weekend, getting too close to another hunter?

Whatever the case, I am happy to have as my "bring home" buck, a wizened warrior of the timber....


Marian Love Phillips said...

I'm so proud of you and sorry it took me so long to get by to see you. Was going to link your site to a post and started reading about your success! This is wonderful news! I hope you got bloodied! Will write you more soon...have to take Bob to the Dr. today and tomorrow. Again, my congrats to you! Way to go girl! Now you have meat in the freezer! :)

CDGardens said...

Thank you Marian! I am glad you could come by and share in my success! Truly put a lift in my step...Now, to fill a doe tag. No, I didn't get bloodied on my first "bring it home" deer. I thought about it though, because of the pictures out of Mississippi. Yes, the freezer has some empty space filled.

Thank you again, means a lot to me! Your turn girlfriend! :)

Marian Love Phillips said...

Well, what I did was bloodied my own was opening day at the camp so long ago and it had been storming most of the morning and everyone just hung out in our vehicles and at the time we did not have the camp all the other hunters gave up and went home. We stayed and it was sprinkling when we went in on Bob's 3 wheeler and he dropped me off at my stand and he walked down a creek bed from me and before he could sit down good and light up a cigarette...I shot! The ground was so wet that the deer never heard us, saw or smelled us. So I got down and saw the blood was thick and just picked it up and slapped it on my face. :) I figured might as well since everyone went home. When Bob finally caught up with me I told him I was looking for my deer and he said it looked like it had shot me! I was so happy to find my deer and was not far away from where I shot it. It is a good thing it did not go into the Big Black River which was not far from where my stand was located. You will never forget your first deer and you did get some blood on you I'm sure from handling it. I'm still so proud of you and so happy that you got meat in your freezer! :)

CDGardens said...

Yes, I did share in some blood as I rendered the buck. So, I can say I was bloodied.

It sounds like we hunt in terrain that can be difficult to collect our deer.

Good thing you were able to find your first before it got into the river..

Thanks again Marian! I am charged enough to try to repeat the success...

Marian Love Phillips said...

You go girl! Now I got to get busy and get me one! May go this coming Wednesday. Have a family friend that we used to take hunting with us and he said he would take me to his camp. Never been but it's no more than 20 mins. from our house. Bob will go to his program that day and got to be back home before he gets off the bus at 3:30. In fact, Greg is suppose to take him to his camp up at Kings Point Island this coming Tuesday where the monster deer are. He has already gotten 2 does but he will not let Bob get his Bob will just go and sit with him. I think it is a $50.00 fee for Bob to sit with Greg. Greg pays close to $2,000 a year just to hunt 3 deer and most of the time it floods from the MS River. Some may have been misplaced from the historic flood here last April/May.

I wish you luck on your next deer and can't wait to hear all about it. :)

CDGardens said...

I would love to see a picture of the monster deer at Kings Point Island. Hope Bob gets some good fresh air and tapped in on the hunting experience whether he hunts or not.

Waiting to hear of your success if you can get out on Wednesday.

Our second shotgun season ends today...will see how things go.:)