Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Deer Season 2017

I was thrilled that my oldest son was going to be able to join me for the first three days of deer camp this year. We arrived at camp on Sunday, Nov. 26 around noon. After lighting the furnace, we got out the leaf blower and rakes and took care of all the leaves around camp. Afterwards, I did some temporary repair work on a small leak that was discovered inside. The local DCNR officers (also friends of the family) paid us a visit around 3 pm. We talked for a while and their report was that the deer herd was up this year. Monday morning found us going to our usual opening day spot. We saw quite a few deer on Monday, but none we could shoot. I was very encouraged, however, because it was more deer than we'd seen in the previous several years. In addition, I had a rare treat to have an all-black coyote run past my stand. Tuesday, morning found us back in the same location. Again, we saw several deer. My son had a nice 4-point walk by, but had to let him pass. The antler restrictions over the past years have really paid off. It's tough to let a buck pass, but there are now some trophy class buck running around. On Wednesday, the temperature was warmer, but there was a very gusty Northwest wind, so we decided to hunt the south side of the mountain. I did a small drive for my son first thing in the morning and ran into a flock of over 30 turkeys. I think it was the ones who were calling all around us on Tuesday. The biggest treat of the day for me was having a black bear walk right up to me around 12:00 noon. He came to within about 15 feet and never saw me. It was quite a thrill to be that close to a bear. We didn't see any deer today, but we really had a great three days of hunting. We headed home around 5:15 as we had closed camp and packed up in the morning before going hunting. We probably won't make it up for the 2nd week this year. I was fortunate to harvest two deer in Maryland in the October Muzzleloader season (an antlerless deer and a nice 8-point) so we already have venison in the freezer. There was more food (esp. acorns and beechnuts) in the woods this year than I've seen in a long time. The number of squirrels in the forest this year was staggering. We may try to come up for a day or two during the late flintlock season, but I'm not sure.  Again, I am thankful for good health and the opportunity to spend my 43rd consecutive First Day of Buck Season at Peter's Camp.  

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