Checking The Cameras – Counting Down To Archery Opener
September 9, 2013
That’s right… 19 days and counting until the whitetail archery season opens. Despite a couple of outings for exotics, it’s been a long off-season.
Just had the Mathews restrung, and I’ve been slinging arrows at the target out back almost every day. I’ve been checking the cameras too. As of now, I’m still thinking I’ll be primarily hunting does this year.
There’s a pretty good buck coming in regularly, but he’s sort of young. If he survives all the other hunting camps in this canyon, maybe we’ll be able to make ourselves let him walk. We don’t get a lot of big bucks in this country, and he looks like he has great potential.
The cameras are loaded with does again this season, and pretty much have been loaded constantly since last year. You’d hardly notice that we took four deer off the place last season. They’re just that thick out here.
Of course the search goes on for other critters. I haven’t seen any sign of hogs since that one old boar came cruising through last February, but hope springs eternal. We’ve had a relatively wet season the last few weeks… not enough to change the drought status, yet, but definitely enough to keep my pond wet and green up the trees. The persimmons are busting out all over, and I know that’s got to be an inviting treat for sus scrofa.
The axis, all through the canyon, have been a little scarce all summer. Turns out that our neighbor down the road was trapping them behind his house. They pull in a pretty penny right now, and you can see nets all over the canyon as folks are trying to make a little cash off of a fairly abundant resource. It’s definitely had an effect on the numbers, but it also appears to have another effect… scattering the animals out of their normal hangouts. I have to admit a little selfish pleasure at seeing their spotted bodies through the cedars and pastures close to my house.
On Saturday, from my chair at the living room window, I spotted movement in the barn pasture. A group of whitetail does and yearlings was making their way across the open and heading back to their beds. There’s nothing new about that, as they tend to drift across the pasture after chowing down at my feeder. Still, I enjoy watching them.
The last doe hopped the fence, and I was about to turn my attention to other things when I spotted something else… an axis buck, not a trophy but a real good buck, came strolling along my fenceline. He was apparently following the whitetail does. I went for the rifle, as this looked like a good opportunity to restock the freezer, but I knew he’d be across the fence before I could get after him… and I really wasn’t sure I wanted to shoot him like that anyway.
Of course, I haven’t seen him since. I checked the cameras, and sure enough I had a glimpes of spotted coats… no photos of the buck, and this blurry picture doesn’t offer much in the way of quality photography, but it sure was enough to get me excited.
According to the camera, they were only here once… so far. But just the fact that they are passing through is enough to make me pretty happy. As much as I do like eating whitetail, it’s hard to compare anything to axis venison.
Time to go shoot the bow a little more… gotta be in practice when the 28th rolls around!