Had 5 guys lined up for a couple weeks, now, to come out for a New Year's Day flintlock hunt. Systematically, over the last couple days, they all bailed on me "for one reason or another".............. LOL !!!
Sooooo..........rather than walking guys around the woods, putting them in likely places, for an hour in the dark this morning, I got to go hunt with my favorite person.............. ME !!!
On the ride in, my truck ratted out why the other 5 had cancelled on me.............
I decided to head back up on the high point, to The Flintlock Tree, again, as I didn't figure I had been in there long enough Saturday to disturb much. But, on the way up, I bounced at least one deer out. I think the bright light of the moon must have had them heading in earlier today.
Got to my spot and took my usual place on the little stool. The sounds of trees popping in the cold.............some of them sounding pretty big.........were coming from every direction. Probably heard 15-20 big pops over the course of 2 1/2 hours.
The sunrise beaming through the hoarfrost in the tree limbs painted a neat picture.
About the expected time, a small buck came following a doe across the deep ravine to my right. They got in behind some bigger trees that were lined up just so as to block out about a 10 yard wide section of hillside across the ravine. I saw the doe start down into the steep-sided draw before she got behind the trees.
As I was trying to see where she'd come out, and figure out where the little buck was behind her, I caught movement straight out into the flat in front of me. Binos showed a mature doe and a fawn at 70-ish yards. She was quartered somewhat toward me. But with the gun on the stick, I could see all I needed to see. Only thing was.............she was standing behind a downed pine log that had a forearm diameter limb sticking straight up the line between her shoulder and the base of her neck. I knew I could slide a conical right into the pumphouse............save for what I figured to be a 5% chance of error. She moved out of the opening then back in again. The limb blocking her again in that 5% area. I decided that, not having a NEED for another deer.........she would be donated to a friend ........... I would pass the shot opportunities. Her and the fawn wandered off.
I sat for another hour and a half, watching the crows work on the food pile my Saturday hunt left for them. Never saw another deer.