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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Northern Berks County, PA
I think the end has come
I've been out with the flintlock looking to fill a doe tag. I was out in falling snow and the bitter cold. I have my cold weather clothing fairly well sorted out at this point, that I'm actually not too cold when I'm out, even when it was in the single digits.
I did miss one on the first afternoon. Not a slam dunk, but I should have hit that shot. I followed every bit of sign I had, and every recently used trail for another 200 yards, no sign of a hit, no deer, so I felt good it was a clean miss.
Then it got hard to find deer. I finally riddled it out, and saw a few last night. I had a small one in range Sat. AM, but she was a fawn of this year, I think.
As I watched two very nice, mature doe headed down a field edge toward me last night, I found myself thinking, "You know, these deer made it through 10 weeks of bow season (5C), 2 weeks of rifle, a week or so of flintlock now, and this miserable weather. I don't really want to kill them." They didn't get anywhere near close enough, and I was kinda relieved.
Same thing tonight. One slipped across the field near me before I could have ever even pretended to take a shot, and never gave me a clear shot while she was in the woods. Saw one way far off, and heard a few more that never showed themselves. I was kinda relieved, again.
I killed a cow elk in Colorado in October, my biggest buck ever with a bow in November, and my daughter killed a super 8pt in rifle season. We don't need meat.
Any deer I got would be given to folks who want a deer.
But....with hunting season having been basically non-stop for me from mid-Sept to now, I'm enjoying going out, but I don't want to kill the deer I see. I just don't. The end has come.
I think I'll spend whatever time I have for hunting to take my small bore flintlock out for squirrels. It gets me out hunting and I won't be shooting deer.
I think this is the first year I've been in this situation, but it's also the first time I've killed an elk, and we've got half our "spare" upright freezer filled with meat, and that's always been there in case the main freezer died. That's all meat that'll be ground to make into sausage, bologna, snack sticks, etc, but we've never had so much meat on hand, and I think that's pretty well squashed my drive to shoot any more deer. I'd rather they be around next fall.
Good luck to those still chasing 'em...and I hope you fill all your tags. I'll be down at gentleben's on Sat. hoping to help folks get some deer on the ground. I just don't need any more of my own, lol.
Shoot straight, folks, and keep your powder dry. I'm rootin' for ya...but I think my time as come to call it.... my deer season 2017 is officially done.