My season has been great so far. My first hunt was a week in the mountains of Va. with my brothers. Black bear topped the list, but deer and turkey seasons were open as well. We harass the same large area of public land every year. I saw ten bear that week but didn’t manage to fill my tag. I passed on several deer and two turkeys (at 15 yards) in order to stay focused on the bears. After a long week of hiking with weapons, I decided to take a shot at a young buck with only a few hours remaining in the hunt. On the last afternoon I had hiked back about four miles to a long flat ridge loaded with acorns and cherries. As I slipped through the timber I saw the deer feeding in my direction. He’d lower his head and I’d move. He’d raise up and move towards me. After about twenty minutes or so of inching toward each other; I drew from behind a tree, stepped to my left, and took the buck at a step or two over ten yards.
Two weeks later I found myself “inspecting” a two-man ladder stand in the deer woods at home. I set the stand to hunt with my children. My son took his second deer from that stand last fall, and my daughter has her mind set on her first deer this season. As I sat in the first light of day, I heard the faint sound of a familiar cadence. As I turned and got my bow up, I saw a big buck walking through the oaks. The buck passed behind me at about twenty-five yards but never offered a shot. I have high hopes, because it’s the largest buck I’ve seen in years…..but it is bow hunting.
This past Tuesday, one brother text me “I just saw the bear”. He has a camera out and has pictures of a very large boar during the day. While it is getting to be more common in this area, seeing bear is still a bit of a new treat for us. An hour later, another brother text me a picture of his sons first bow harvest from that same evening.
With another trip to the mountains for bear planned and almost two more months of deer season remaining…..I can’t wait to see what the Father has to show me next.