The sun shined last weekend for the first weekend in what seemed a long time and it was absolutely glorious.
Deer season is in full swing. My time in the woods locally has been woefully lacking due to all the rain in December and to my wife Mary having knee replacement surgery on Dec. 12. I've had a few more household duties than normal as she recovers.
I took advantage of the nice weekend and hunted all day Saturday and again on Sunday afternoon. It wasn't too cold and it felt great just to be in the woods. I did not shoot a deer, which is both a blessing and a curse.
I'd like to get a deer, especially a rack buck, but as the saying goes, "The fun is over when you pull the trigger because that's when the work begins."
I apparently stink more than I used to. I have been winded and blown at by more deer this year than in the last 10 years combined, usually on the walk in. That's typically the kiss of death for my hunt. A deer blowing alerts every deer in the vicinity that man is in the forest. It happened again right off the bat Saturday morning.
I went into a place I'd never been that morning and found where 2 trails intersected. I returned Saturday afternoon and set up a blind and a game camera. Hopefully, the camera will capture some photos of whatever deer are using the area. A big rub - where a buck deer rubs his antlers on a small tree - was nearby.
Over the lunch break Saturday, I rode to town with my wife Mary and we noticed lots of anglers on Browns Creek fishing. They were enjoying the great weather too.
"I'm surprised you're not fishing today," Mary said.
I quoted the book of Ecclesiastes in reply: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."
I followed that with "It's deer season, baby."
I checked game cameras after the lunch hour to see what kind of deer were using the different places. Honestly, setting up blinds and checking game cameras has just about become my favorite part of deer hunting. If I ever hang up the rifle, I will still run cameras. I love it.
Our deer are very nocturnal. Catching them in the daylight is tough. It gives you encouragement to at least see some deer on camera.
I was a whipped puppy by the end of the day. The step meter on my phone showed I'd walked 4 miles over the course of the day, which is kind of a lot for me.
The weather might have been even nicer Sunday afternoon.
Mary got me a really nice ground blind for Christmas. On Sunday afternoon, I set it up. I didn't even have my rifle, but I spent about an hour sitting in the new blind after getting it up and getting a shooting lane cleared. A word on clearing lanes might be in order. You can use the brush you clear in your shooting lane to "brush in" your blind and make it look more a part of the natural world.
It was just so nice and peaceful. The temperature was perfect. There was no wind. No dogs were barking and there was no noise whatsoever except for the occasional chirp of a bird or the rustling of a squirrel.
"You were gone 2 hours," Mary said when I got back. "You fell asleep, didn't you?"
I didn't, but I could have. I was just mesmerized by the peaceful quiet, I guess. I did have my sidearm and the thought had crossed my mind that I could shoot with the pistol if a buck happened to stroll by.
Whether I catch up with a buck this season or not, I'm having a ball running cameras and setting up blinds. I carry my binoculars every trip so I can watch birds and other wildlife.
Deer season runs through Feb. 10 and I imagine these covered blinds will come in handy with more rainy weekends before the season ends.