I think the end has come - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 10:01 PM
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Bad news for the squirrels apparently.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I have no sympathy for the tree rats. I have scores to settle with a few of them...
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 12:23 AM
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Md. has a 3 day turkey season coming up next week, they don't take up much freezer space.
the same license will still be good for this spring gobbler season.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 12:40 AM
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I'm beginning to wonder myself, only seen one deer this flint season in about 6 outing and I shared it earlier 2 hang fires then a good miss. I just put one of my cows in the freezer today and have 3 hogs to go yet. Don't think I need any meat! I have only been hunting last 2 hours of day though. Tomorrow I will have more time and weather forecast for Thursday the heck with it.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 11:38 AM
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Nothing wrong with the way you feel for sure.I am out mainly for the challenge of just seeing a deer/scouting and to not drive the wife nuts this time of year and not so much for the harvest since I was lucky to fill two tags.The snow is making it nice for the scouting for sure.Do not always have snow and at the right time for me to get out.I actually felt guilty the first time I harvested a doe in late Mzl after I already harvested deer previously during earlier seasons.Good luck on those tree rats.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 12:17 PM
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Welcome to the area between the 4th and 5th stage of Hunter Development (if you taught HE course you know what I mean). I gave up really caring if I even shot a deer years ago. Taken plenty over the years, most with flintlock. I look at it as a bonus that may happen while I just happen to be out and away from life's hustle and bustle. I grab my flintlock and just go enjoy being out. One of the reasons I gave up hunting regular rifle season a number of yrs back is to skip the crowds. Nice having the woods to myself to just relax and if a deer happens to wander in close, and I decide to shoot, so be it. Sometimes I just pass
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 01:27 PM
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Tdd, I'm sort of in the same situation as you with sympathizing with the deer. I had a nice group of 10 around me last week at one point, but couldn't get a shot for one reason or another. After they ran off, I just smiled as it was great to watch them. I've got a mule deer in the freezer along with one daughter's doe. Still could use one more for the year, so I'll keep going, just won't be upset if the hammer doesn't fall this year!

Take an older friend hunting or fishing - they're the reason we do what we do!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 12:32 AM
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I know the feeling. Ive also been at it hard since mid september. Took several deer Including a very nice 8pt around Halloween. Topped it off the first week of flintlock with a mature baldy. I have a few SRA tags left and a bit of season left but am taking it easy. Was out the other day and had a group of 11 within range but just decided to watch them and didnt take a shot. Im also using the snow cover to do a bit of scouting as well as attempt to take out some yotes that recently moved in to my area. Havent felt pressure to kill a deer in years and my hunting has been much more enjoyable because of it.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 06:03 PM
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I hunted with my flintlock every week last year, from the beginning of rifle, to the last day of flintlock season before I scored in the last hour of the last day. Of course the weather wasn't this bad last year. A medical issue has me sidelined for the late season this year. If it weren't for that I'd be out there. But, there is one glimmer of hope. I have my surgical procedure scheduled for the 16th of this month. Hopefully I may be able to get out the last two weekends of the season if things go well.
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