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    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
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      Today was the regular archery season opener here in PA. Beautiful chilly morning, with a hint of frost. On the stand by 6 in the dark to a cacophony of barred owls so close at times they seemed in the next tree. Lots of good squirrel watching and a few flocks of geese honking high over head. Even got to see about eight deer slip through the brush about 75 yards out.

      Short of a shot, an excellent morning in the woods.

    • Stephen Graf
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      Post count: 2311

      That DOES sound like a  good day!  We had our first cool weather yesterday.  I wanted to go for a walk in the woods, but this is our applesauce making weekend so no can do.  Still no rain in the forecast for the next 10 days, but temps stay in the 70’s.  10 deg above normal seems cool these days…

      Seen a number of deer in the woods this year, all way off.  They seem to be on to me right away…

    • Drew
      Member
      Post count: 6

      I got out and hunted with my 56# @ 28” Northern Mist longbow the other morning. This was my very first traditional only hunt.

      I went into a valley that I usually hunt with a North wind. The valley is a hardwood streamside management zone with a creek down the center running East to West with mature pines to the North and South. That morning we had a South wind so I took my little Lone Wolf climber and ascended a tree near the creek that runs through the center of the valley. The plan was to cover a deer trail that runs along the upper third of a hill to the South. Deer tend to funnel through this valley early in the morning going back to bedding to the East or late in the evening heading back to a pasture to the West to feed after dark. Last year about this time I observed 3 deer take this exact trail moving East to bedding around 7:30 AM. If they followed this same trail it would put them broadside at 10 yards.

      I was up the tree and all set to hunt a little before 6:45 AM. Around 7:25 I heard tipping coming from up the valley to the East heading toward my location. This was the opposite direction I had expected the deer to come from. I also soon realized that the two does were on the North side of the creek from me and were about 50 yards out. I turned to watch them as they passed by me going West.  So much for best laid plans. At least they did not seem to get a whiff of my dreaded human scent. I stayed on stand until 11:00 AM and climbed down. I will be back in there soon.

      It was a fun hunt. I was happy to take the longbow out for the first time after deer. Hopefully I will have more to report soon.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
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      I was on a stand yesterday morning. Same stand I let two doe walk by in the beginning of the season last year.  Lots of good squirrel watching. About 7:45 I saw a six pointer come walking right down the woods lane, opposite direction of the two doe last year. I got myself ready, fingers on the string, and just watched as he walked on by. Probably six yards from the base of my stand, stopped a couple times broadside. Don’t know if it was because I had two appointments to keep later in the morning or if I was just not quite ready.
      I’ve had a few years when I just didn’t pull the trigger on the first deer of the season. After I get done kicking myself I’m ready. Just to be clear, I don’t consider myself a trophy hunter. I’d been happy to butcher that six pointer. Some days I just have to watch.

      by the way, last year it took me til the last Friday of the flintlock season to put an 8 pointer on the ground, so it’s not exactly a given to have another shot.

    • Stephen Graf
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      Post count: 2311

      Dave, Dave, Dave…

      Anybody that knows anything, knows that 6 yards is way to close.  It is obvious to me that your instincts were finely honed Saturday morning.  How else would you know to avoid such a luckless shot?  Offering salutations and a tip of the hat to ye buck was the right thing to do.

      We archers must remember our most important asset, our bag of excuses.  How else are we gonna get off the hook?

      What if you had missed?  Six yards offers no room for excuses.  You would have had to stretch that distance in the telling.  Worse yet, what if you had gored that regal beast?  You would hear no end of felicitations and who wants that?  A nice peaceful morn spent in quiet solitude is much to be desired.  Not to mention the sweat and labor you saved yourself.

      We bowhunters are a indolent lot.  Why else take to field an forest with such a dubious weapon?  No sir, you did right.  You are the man of the hour.  I’d tip my hat to you right now ‘cept my hands are busy round my coffee cup and scratching parts due south.

      I expect you will see that fine buck again on a crisp cool frosty morn.  Now should that yon buck show his self to you while you are simply minding your own business, I wouldn’t blame you one iota for sending your silvan shaft amongst his viscera.  A’course if the distance were to be 6 yards, or 60 yards, you’d still be unblamed for shooing that fellow away for disturbing the peace.

      Its a fine fellow knows his priorities

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
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      Thanks for your generous words my friend. I’ve seen that buck a few times in my day dreams.
      I have to say, it’s a gift to be a hunter. Who else self-dictates hours of semi motionless spells just to watch and listen. Trying to become invisible and always astounded when it works. I love it when a flock of song birds lights in my tree suddenly and is suddenly gone. And when the squirrel climbs up the trunk next to me for a closer look and climbs away unafraid. These things we Easterners trade by default for the bugle of elk and views of snow caps across canyons of the West. Less dramatic, a subtle beauty we get to enjoy. I’ve been out west, fished in Clacier, hiked in the Rockies, and loved it. I’m fascinated by it and yet these NE PA woods are a comfortable home. A little tangent there.
      Oh, and I do love getting a shot at a whitetail, especially a good one.

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2512

      My first go at things was trying to stalk a nice 4×4 muley buck that was escorting five lady mulies.  Needless to say that didn’t get me to far along.

      Couple days later I was in the same area and spotted a really nice 8 point whitetail buck roaming the higher country (?) that mulies always call home.

      Umm I say, “cain’t not give this a whirl”…………. I was closing the distance, 50-60 yards, when all hell broke lose….that same muley buck was in that area also and I had not a clue. My focus was on the whitetail. The muley snorted and exploded as did the whitetail… and me too….

      In this country of few trees,and a plethora of sagebrush, yuccas, prickly pear and scattered mesquite trees, stalking deer is way tough enough without a spooky audience.

      But I love trying.

      A mule deer buck when spooked might go for a spell then stop and look back and ‘what the….was that?.

      Whitetails…. no question asked, they be goners.

      I was on a ridge and could see for miles. That 8 point hit the bottom of the canyon crossed a half mile of flat land and was still going when he looked about the size of a jackrabbit.

      Dunno if he’ll be back in that area.

      Y’all haven’t seen the pic I took of my rifle hunting blind, we call it my “hunt hut”, getting hit by a rainbow..

      Cheryl has a ‘she shed’, Ralph has a “hunt hut” :-))

      There wasn’t a pot of gold in there but I did go up there and enjoy my breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee while I enjoyed nature for an hour or so.

      There are different kinds of “pots of gold”.

       

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
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      Post count: 2228

      Ralph, what a great time. It’s a pleasure to get out smarted by these critters. Cup a Joe with that view? Nice. Dwc

    • Stephen Graf
      Member
      Post count: 2311

      I just had a week of GREAT bowhunting.  I got close to half a dozen nice bucks and twice that many does.  Always just one mistake away from shooting.  On the last day, I was finally able to drop the string.  The doe whirled at the shot and the arrow brushed past the front of her chest.

      I did my part, she did her part, and the best part is I didn’t have to get messy or sweaty in the end.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
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      Post count: 2228

      I’ve been seeing a lot of deer, but mostly with no bow in my hands. I did get to hunt for a few hours yesterday morning. Beautiful, cold, sunny morning. Watched a nice buck walk near, but not close enough, to my buddy. Saw a Winter Wren up close and didn’t even know there was such a critter. Saw an owl of some sort fly by in the afternoon while walking the dog. Coming up short on exciting hunting tales for ya though. One more week of fall archery in my parts. Best, dwc

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