Hunt Reports From The Farm
September 15, 2015
We haven’t come up with a catchy name for the new place yet. For now, we’re just calling it, “the farm.”
But I’m here now, and I’m four days into the whitetail archery season.
I do find myself at a disadvantage, since I took possession of the place less than a month prior to deer season. At the Hillside Manor, in Texas, I had almost an entire year to scout, set stands, and work on the landscape before getting out to start hunting. That preparation paid off in spades, although there’s something to be said for the fact that I was hunting in one of the highest deer population densities in the country.
But I got two stands set up, and a little work done around them. On the plus side, I have the advantage of a field full of nearly mature soybeans, but that also presents a bit of disadvantage for bowhunting, since the deer can come out anywhere around the 11 acres of crops, and the beans are high enough in places to completely obscure an entire deer (or three entire deer, as I witnessed yesterday).
On Sunday evening, I watched as a big, mature doe fed out into the field. She was utterly oblivious to me, but she had no need to worry since she never came any closer than 95 yards. A chip shot, perhaps with the 30-06, but not even an option for the Mathews. I watched her for about 20 minutes, as another group of does and yearlings fed out on the far side of the field… 198 yards away.
It got particularly interesting when the big doe stopped and stared back at the trail where she came in. I followed her gaze to see a really nice, mature 8-point (4×4 including brow tines, for you western hunters) step out. It’s way too early for the rut, but he was definitely following her trail and pushing his nose into her backdraft.
They stayed in the field until dark, but never came closer than 95 yards.
A doe and a youngster fed out on Sunday night, well within range at 15 to 20 yards, but I couldn’t make myself shoot the mama deer with Jr. right there at her side. Blame Bambi, if you will. Or blame my interest in keeping that 8-point around. Either way, it would be my best opportunity at a mature deer this week.
Last night (Monday), several deer came out much earlier. A group of three does fed into the far side of the field 10 minutes after I got into the stand… probably 17:25 or so. They were still there when I climbed down at 19:45. In the meantime, Jr. came back out. In the full daylight, I could see that he still had a few spots on his shoulder and haunch. Mama never showed, but I could hear her in the brush, just off the edge of the field. Jr. hung around, doing his little deer thing and munching soybeans until it finally got too dark to see. I slipped quietly out of the stand, and figured I’d get away without spooking anyone, but as I stepped around a grape vine, I nearly stepped right on top of a deer. Not sure who jumped higher, but she (or he) kept jumping… bounding all the way to the far end of the field. I watched the white flag waving, and knew every deer in the field would be blown out.
Nevertheless, I was back at it tonight. Around 18:00, a single deer fed out on the far side of the field. She didn’t seem too concerned about anything, until a sudden ruckus caused us both to start. The neighbor apparently decided that last light was the perfect time to fire up a bulldozer and start working in his cow pasture. The doe swapped ends and bolted back into the woods. She was the only deer I saw all night. C’est la vie.
I expect that Iggy and I are gonna use tomorrow evening to go shoot doves in the cut corn across from the house. I’ll give the tree stand a break, and let things settle down for a little bit. I’d love to get a go at that big buck, but those mature does would do well to stay out of range.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned…