Thursday, January 6, 2011

Iowa Deer Shotgun Season 1 Days 3 - 5 in Reflection

I would  like to share my slant on Days 3-5 of  Iowa Deer Shotgun Season # 1, which were spent around the homestead.

The "Group Hunters" of which I had spoken previously, had gotten two extra bucks during the second flushing of our timber. The 14-point taken by my 16 year old neighbor and an 8-point. As good fortune would have it they offered Hubby and me a choice between the two to put in our freezer. Taking into consideration the storage space we had available I took the smaller 8-point which arrived after dark on day 3.

This happened to be the first opportunity for me to skin and butcher a deer on my own. Assisting my Mentor on one occasion several years back to render a doe he had shot provided me with some idea of what I should be doing. Oh and yes I utilized some tutorials on You Tube by Wilderness Outfitters...

The weather,although not snowy was hanging in the 20's for highs. My task began in the great outdoors on day 4 after attempting another spot and stalk. I was enticed to try once more by the swift exodus of deer bedding near my food plots. They happened to linger for a time on the north side of the fence. I headed out to the west to circle around...I should have continued with the first plan, but changed my mind mid-way heading through a gate, not knowing for sure whether there were still deer to my right as I entered the pasture. It soon became evident by the noise of trampling hooves and blowing I wasn't a welcomed guest.

Ahhh, another precocious buck! Maybe it was the same one as the other day?!? He got to a certain distance in front,turned sideways, looked back and then took off as I continued to move forward. I wasn't immediately deterred from trying to get another deer;heading for a thicket of trees in a fence corner often used for deer cover I concealed myself. A short-time passed and I watched a buck return to move back through the timber. The shot distance totally out of range.

After an hour I left the thicket to get started on my new experience. The air was still extremely nippy. However, I am starting to use some fleece clothing to layer under my coveralls since Hubby had some in the closet. I had picked up a thermal top lined with fleece to get the core layer started, when I stopped to visit our local farm store before the season got going.

Did all my layers help? They seemed to do quite nicely when I was in the windless sunshine of the afternoon.

Time to get back to rendering my buck. After being subjected to outside temps for at least 36 hours the animal had become an ice block. Skinning was most definitely a challenge since I didn't want to chop anything off that could go into freezer packaging instead.

It took me until late afternoon to get the hide off.The sun's rays were starting to get long, and I needed to get a move on so I could go see two of my grandchildren sing at their Winter Program.

Wrapping the deer in plastic I proceeded to pull it for a distance, got some plywood to make a smooth surface over the deck steps and inched it up. Making a turn at the top through the front door I pulled it, plastic and all into the extra bathroom - boosting it into the tub to defrost. I had to make concessions if I wanted to keep the deer and not take it to a professional locker.

I made it to the Program but could feel my physical labor that kept me hopping that day.

The next day, day 5, I started washing and putting the parts in the refrigerator to age before finally getting the venison back in the freezer to be enjoyed during the cold days of winter.

So went the days three - five of Shotgun season #1. ;)

That brings to a conclusion my reflections on season #1. I will have a few thoughts to share on season #2 soon. Over all I will tell you they were good seasons, even if I ended it still holding my two tags  still in hand.