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Author Topic: Last hunt of the season  (Read 159 times)

Offline treefarmer

  • 6 Point
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Posts: 399
  • Location: LA (lower Alabama, the Florida panhandle
Last hunt of the season
« on: March 01, 2018, 11:14:04 PM »
Last Sunday evening I went to the woods to close the 2017-18 Florida deer season.  Had my Knight 50 cal. with me.  I really wasn't into it but just to be sociable I decided to go.  I chose to sit under a ladder stand in a lawn chair, parking my old golf cart in a patch of bushes in the very thick woods.  The wind was in my favor. 
As I sat down, I realized how awkward all this felt and began to think about all the things I knew to do that I was totally ignoring.  I remembered this is how we used to do things before we learned to really think about our prey.  We just went as kids and young fellers calling ourselves deer hunters.  We felt it was a successful trip if we even spotted deer tracks and it was an enormous success if we spotted a white tail flagging away.
I finally was fortunate to kill a deer, in fact I killed two 8 points at the same time 52 years ago just out side the Withlacoochee River swamp in south Lake County Florida.  Back then it was open country, no fences, no posted signs, and just a few folks camping on an occasional rise in the otherwise flat piney woods adjacent to the river swamp.  The woods had been timbered and all that remained were occasional pine trees, lots of palmettos and Gall berry flats. Like I said, here I killed my 1st deer, I also killed my 1st turkey and my only Bobcat.  That country is now know as the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
Fast forward 50 years and here I sat feeling as helpless as a new deer hunter wondering what to do next.  I had a food plot several hundred yards away with oats and clover growing, a ground level shooting house or my old faithful elevated shooting house over looking all the things I just mentioned plus an automatic corn feeder back in the planted pines.  What was I doing sitting here with nothing but legs of a ladder stand for cover?  I didn't even try to hid my white beard.  The mosquitos were fierce!  I had put a little Off on my beard and back of my neck all the while knowing there is a perfectly good Thermo-cell  in the house just a hundred yards away. 
Sitting there bewildered at my predicament, I noticed a deer coming out into an opening that had had some shelled corn in it in front of a camera.  It didn't take long for her to realize I wasn't there the last time she fought with the squirrels for the corn on the ground.  There were a couple more deer behind her and her nervousness kept them almost out of sight.  We looked at each other for a minute or two and she finally slipped back into the cover.  I continued to sit still and watch.  My hearing isn't what it used to be but I could tell the deer were moving back to the west and soon they would get my scent.  Sure enough, the walking in the leaves stopped and the sound of a hoof stomping the ground was heard.  They could see me, I couldn't see them but very soon one of them got spooked enough to start to blow.  Several more loud snorts and I heard them moving away in the leaves. 
A good way to end the season, realizing I had, I'll venture, almost intentionally violated every thing I had learned over the years.  I killed 3 deer this season and am thankful for them but none of them was killed by chance, that is just goin' and settin' in the woods and watching.  Each one was taken in a carefully planed ambush.  I did all I could do except make the deer appear that part was up to them.  Hunting down wind from where a deer is expected to show up is always a right approach. Scent control in any setting is necessary, even up in the elevated shooting house when the wind is blowing toward the food plot a hundred yards away.  The old smart does will begin stickin' their noses straight up in the air and they'll follow that scent till they either see a movement or they are just so spooked they have to leave when they can't locate the source.  The yearlings and fawns usually don't test the wind like the does do in my experience.  Living close to humans as they do at our place they don't associate our odor with danger at first.  Feed the does on a good food plot and the bucks will be there during the rut.
Sittin' in the lawn chair under that old ladder stand I realized I had probably discovered a spot that I had not focused on because it is so close to the road and our house.  I've had a camera there for many months and never fail to capture deer and many other critters on the card, as it is at an intersection of two trails.  The reason I didn't want to sit in the ladder stand is the limited vision afforded by the very thick woods, I love to be able to see way back into the woods and that has come from years of hunting from an elevated stand.  But sittin' there I realized with the right approach, a little camo netting or maybe draggin' the ground level shooting house I built with my grandsons to this site, I might be in the right place next season.  By the way preparation for next season has already started, always lookin' to improve my chances of seein' ol' Bambi!
The following Tuesday I checked the camera that was watching this trail intersection.  On Saturday the 24th, in morning beginning at 1:24am, a buck stopped just a couple of feet from the camera.  He apparently stood there for about 13 minutes before he moved his feet.  There were 177 pictures of him before he changed his location.  He moved his head, looking in all directions, he turned his head and licked his body, so close it was a blurry picture.  I'm posting the 1st, the middle and the last picture of him in that spot for 13 minutes. Check out the times on the 3 pictures.  Kinda' interesting to this ol' man still trying to figure 'em out.
Lookin' forward to next season beginning on Thanksgiving Day, it's only 267 days away!
Treefarmer
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 06:39:31 AM by treefarmer »

Offline sundowner

  • TH Staff - Moderator
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  • Location: Sheboygan , Wi
Re: Last hunt of the season
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 01:03:07 AM »
Good luck planning for this year's hunt , soon enough it will be here for us up here the second week in September .  ##$%#1118
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