Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deer Season

November 13, 2010 was opening day of gun season for deer here in Indiana. For the second year in a row I was able to kill a deer on opening morning. I thought I’d write a quick rundown how things went as the hunting trip progressed.

On Friday morning Dad and I got the camper and boat ready, loaded them up with our hunting gear and tree stands, and then took off to Mounds State Park. The park is around Brookville Lake about an hour and a half away from Shelbyville. Once we got down there we set the camper up, made sure everything was level and secure, and then took the boat down to the launching ramp to go set our tree stands up. You may be asking, why do you use a boat to go deer hunting? Well, to put it simply, to get to areas that many other hunters can’t make it to by car. That way when the hunters come in off the roads, they push all the deer our way near the lake.

I set my stand up in the same tree that I was in last year. I really nice straight Poplar tree in the middle of a bunch of thorns and undergrowth on a flat peninsula slowly jutting out into the lake. After getting the stand connected to my tree, we took the boat over to Dad’s hunting area a few hundred yards away by land, but around a couple points by lake. By the time 3:00 had rolled around, we were all set up and went to town to try out the local Mexican cuisine.

At 4:00 AM the alarm goes off and we get out of bed. We microwave the sausage egg biscuits that we have in the freezer, Dad gets his coffee, and we go back through our stuff to be sure we have everything. Then it is off to the boat to get to our tree stands. The temperature was 42 degrees and there wasn’t any wind that morning.

After getting all the way up in my tree, I dropped my backpack and had to climb back down to get it and then go back up the 20-25 that I’m in the tree. I was sweating by the time I was done, but I was finally able to settle down and wait for light. It was 5:59 when I settled in and very quiet in the woods, except for another hunting group going up in the woods a couple hundred yards off with the occasional stick breaking and their flashlights moving.

It got light about 7am and soon after I heard the first shot of the new deer season. Opening morning is often like a small battle going on with shots being heard all around the woods. Even more so at Brookville, since we’re on the lake and sound carries very easily. The birds had begun to sing and squawk and after about 45 minutes of standing I decided to sit down.
A few minutes later I hear something coming through the woods, I look up and see a doe moving broadside to me about 80 paces away. I quickly see that she will be going into the heavy brush South of me, so I make the quick decision to shoot immediately. I quickly raise my gun, flicking the safety off as I do so, put the cross hairs on her heart and fire right before she goes into the brush. I don’t see her anymore, but I hear her run a few yards and then a crash, so I’m thinking I got her. But since I didn’t see her go down, I’m just not sure.
I decide to wait awhile though before going down to find out, since it is opening morning and perhaps I can get my buck for the season as well and be done. About 10 o’clock I look to the brush in front of me and see movement, eventually counting 3 doe, though I could only see their head and occasionally some feet.  When they went further away I stood up to try to see them and as soon as I did 2 other doe bolted on my right that I hadn’t even seen. So all in all through the day, I’d seen 6 different deer. Dad had see 9 deer, no bucks though, at his stand.

Finally about 11 o’clock I climbed out of the tree, went up and found the doe I had shot, and field dressed her. Just estimating that she weighed about 125-130 lbs, which is probably a good 30 pounds heavier than the button buck I killed last year on opening morning.  I then had to drag her a couple hundred yards down to the shore so that when Dad came about with the boat we could throw her in and take her up to the gas station to check in and get the tag. I’m looking forward to having some nice deer steak soon!

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