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This weekend was the first time I went out with my bow…ever.

I’m new to archery and even newer to bowhunting.

Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area is just minutes from my house and as far as I can tell, is going to be a great place to hunt (or at least learn how to hunt).

I went out the last couple days. The first day all I saw was tracks and a scraped tree. After relying too much on Google Maps I found myself in some very unfriendly terrain. I ended up turning back after lots of frustration but had to walk in front of two ground blinds again to get back. I really didn’t want to have to do that.

The second day I really got out there and played the wind and terrain. I was more patient and scouted some good locations on my walk back.

I saw one deer about 100 meters from my location but there was no hope of tracking due to rocky terrain and the time it would take to get on his/her trail. I spent the majority of my time hunched in a little area just off a trail right next to a clay opening with lots of traffic. I had good concealment and the wind was on my face but nothing came walking by.

The area is dense and is going to offer a challenge to me, the un-experienced bowhunter.

Even though I haven’t gotten anything (yet) I can’t stop thinking about getting back out there again. So, I must be doing something right.

Good luck to all.