My Deer Season Comes to an End
It was 16 degrees when we left my truck on Sunday morning to pursue the whitetail during Ohio’s Muzzleloader Season. Even though it was cold, it was warmer than the previous morning when we entered the woods and it was only 4 degrees. I was equipped with a Traditions Pursuit Ambush .50-caliber muzzleloader topped with a 3-9 variable scope and loaded with 2 – 50 grain Triple Seven Pellets, a .50 caliber Hornady SST bullet, and a CCI 209 primer. I had purchased the gun two years ago and this was the first muzzleloader season I was using it to hunt with.
I like to still hunt but since I was hunting with the landowner and his son on their 80 acres, I decided to hunt from a treestand. The previous morning I was in the same stand and saw one doe. She was about 125 yards away across a ravine. Out of range for me plus there was a lot of limbs and undergrowth. Even if she was within my comfort range of 100 yards or less, I don’t think I would have been able to get a clean shot.
We all walked together until we reached the point where we headed off in separate directions. I walked an old logging road until I reached the point where I headed up a hill towards my treestand. I unloaded my backpack, put on my outer layers of clothing, climbed up the Ameristep Rapid Rails and got settled in on the Millennium Treestand around 7:30. It was a cloudy morning unlike the previous morning when the sun was shining. Around 8:30 I heard noise down below me towards the old logging road I used to approach my treestand. The logging road is about 70 to 80 yards below me. It was a coyote. Then I saw another…then another…then another. In all there were five coyotes traveling together. They ended up going around the hill and came up the ravine in front of me where they went past me at around 40 yards. I have seen two coyotes together before but this was the first time I saw more than two coyotes traveling together.
Excited to see the coyotes but also disappointed they moved through my hunting area, I settled back in and waited. The wait was over around 11:00. I was scanning the area below me when I saw a deer about 50 to 60 yards away. I was unable to get a shot. The deer moved around the hill out of sight. I felt the deer would come up on either side of the ravine directly in front of me or come straight up the hill towards me off to my left. After a couple of minutes, I saw the deer approaching me coming up the hill. Being right handed I was in perfect position for a shot. I settled in with my gun shouldered and waited for the deer to turn broadside. At about 20 yards, the deer slightly quartered to the left, stopped, and looked up at me. I made a quick decision to take a neck shot. I have only taken a neck shot once. I remember it because it was the first buck I ever killed back in 1986. It was my first and only neck shot until now. I settled the cross hairs on the base of its neck and fired. The deer dropped and died almost immediately.
I climbed down out of my treestand, packed up my backpack and walked to the fallen deer. When I started my usual practice of paying homage to the deer, I discovered the deer was a buck. It had already lost its antlers. The deer was a year and a half old deer and I think it may have been the spike buck I saw during archery season.
I was grateful to the land owner because he unloaded his Polaris Ranger and transported the deer back to my truck. I had a deer cart in the bed of my truck, but I know he enjoys using his Ranger so I was not going to say no to his offer.
After getting home, I checked the deer in online then skinned it. The next day I butchered it and the deer season came to a close for me. More memories added to the treasure trove of memories made during previous deer seasons. Those memories are in large part the direct result of my wife Jamie because she is so supportive of my hunting.
Deer season is over for me but I hope to get out at least once more and squirrel hunt. In the meanwhile, the itch has begun to get out the box calls, mouth calls, and slate calls.
Have a GREAT New Year everyone!
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