This year, like previous years, I have failed to drag a deer home during hunting season. I thought things would change having bought my own land and seeing deer non-stop since the move. While I could come up with a list of excuses as to why this is the case there is one thing I have to admit, I am not good at this. I could go squirrel, quail, or turkey hunting and bring something home without question, and some would say these things are harder to do. I could say this is similar to fishing, I can catch blue gill, crappie, and sun fish until the sun goes down, but you won’t see me pulling a bass out of the water any time soon.
This year, like most years, not only have the deer eluded me but they have come to taunt me as well. A few years ago, I was fed up after a week of spending hours out I the woods with squirrel barking their insults at me and decided it was time to teach them a lesson. I went out with my shotgun bringing small game loads and filled my bag in an hour. I ran through the woods taking our every barking offender that dared to show their furry face. Walking back to the car I came over a hill to see two large does starring at me from thirty feet away. A clear and open side shot perfectly positioned and me without a slug in my shotgun. They looked at me for over a minute before turning away and running into the woods. In the end that bag of squirrels had the last laugh.
This year the mocking is even worse than before. On opening day, I went out to the spot I had decided on and brought one of my trusted Mosin-Nagant 7.62x54r bolt action rifles. This one had the smaller scope that was easier to use. The cold windy rain didn’t discourage me from marching out and claiming my prize. As I reached the back of the property, I set up next to an abandoned outhouse in the middle of a small field and waited a minute until a large doe walked out of the woods and looked at me. I raised my rifle and looked into the scope to see nothing but fog. Both sides of the scope were completely fogged over and sine it was mounted on the rear sight I couldn’t use iron sights to make the shot. On opening day, the deer got the better of me.
I set up a pop-up blind near that spot knowing that the deer move through that area. It’s not uncommon to see anywhere from two to seven deer moving through into the swampy woods behind the property. The first day I had the blind up a doe came out of the opposite end of the woods. A tree blocking my shot as its head looked around, then turning around to only give me the ass end before disappearing. The next morning, I opened the windows of he blind to see a set of tracks walking up to the blind and a pile of fresh doe scat sitting in front of it. At this point the score might be deer 3, Fudd 0.
Other odd things have happened since then. I went out to my car and found tracks and doe scat next to the drive and passenger side doors, no joke. Later in the morning when I go out to feed the chickens a doe and yearling will march through the small field behind our house in full view not giving me the time of day. It wasn’t long before I moved my pop-up blind again and realized I had to do something differently.
I spent an evening following the deer trails on the property and found four scrapes, a place where a buck marks a tree and clears the ground to pee on it. Its like a truck stop bathroom way of telling does, for a good time meet me here at this time. This buck was wanting to get some and I was willing to meet him at one of his spots. The next morning, I went out early, an hour before day break only to hear the snort and rustle of hoof prints as the buck ran off leaving me rejected and disappointed. Before heading back to the house, I unzipped my pants and left my own, for a good time call, on his clear patch of dirt next to the scraped-up trunk of a young tree. He has yet to call me.
For the last week and a half, I have heard the distance rings of shots across the land as my neighbors thin the herd and fill their freezers. At the local hardware store, I hear a young man talking about his brother getting two does in the first week and how his brother was disappointed about not getting a buck. The old man behind the counter says “how come? It only got antlers. They don’t taste any different.” My neighbor tells me today about our over neighbor bagging a big buck for the first time in a few years, likely my romantic rejection. Then he goes on to tell me that he usually bags three to four deer a year. Meanwhile, in Matt land, I can not bag one. There is always some detail I miss. I don’t go out early enough. I don’t stay out late enough. I brought the wrong gun for the weather. I put my blind in the wrong spot. I use a blind where I shouldn’t. Granted, I didn’t start hunting until I was 32. I didn’t start deer hunting until I was 34. After six years you would think I would have learned something. This is one sport/ hobby/ pastime that has a lot of trials and even more errors. I am worse that buckless Yooper in Escanaba in Da Moonlight. There are a few days left. I might be able to pull something off, but my hopes of filling the freezer or using any of my ammo for something other than target shooting are low. The deer mock me, they taunt me, and at this rate they know that my place is one of the safest in the area. Right now, they are going around telling their friends to go hang out at the fudge suckers house, while you’re at it crap next to his car. I’m guessing this is the deer equivalent to egging a house.