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I wanted to hunt the first day in DMAP #1319, Moshannon SF. But, horrible roads kept me from my desired spot(I never did make it to that spot). So, the first day I stayed home in the morning. Saw 9 deer from my bedroom window. Hit sgl #158 that afternoon. I often like to visit local sgl's on the first day to see the orange army. I was not disappointed. The parking areas were JAMMED. But, I drove to a steep spot on the same sgl a few miles away where very few others like to go. Walked right into a 4pt on a nasty laurel covered hill. Saw two other deer, also.
I hunted most of the rest of the season on my friends' vast land holdings here in 4d. I shot a doe the first Weds. I saw 57 deer before lunch time that day. Figured it was time to shoot one. I saw plenty of small bucks. Some legal, most not. We saw and got lots of deer. A few nice bucks, too.
I didn't see any bucks I wanted to shoot.
The last Thursday I never even went outside. Too much rain and fog. Plus I was tired from lots of hunting the prior days.
Friday, I was off to 1319. Lots of snow on the trees, bad roads, a few hunters. I hunted the upper Mosquito Creek area, where the tornado hit in the 80's. I knew from scouting that the deer are really eating the green ferns(don't know the name, not hay-scented fern though) that grow on the shady northern slopes because there are no acorns. I saw some tracks, found a dead spike. That was it. the deep snow wore me out.
Saturday, I never left home till mid-morning. I knew I was not up for a full day's hunt after very busy bear and deer seasons. I would head for "the secret valley". I scouted it twice. I knew it was holding deer. But, lots of camps around up on the high ground, and up in the headwaters where a road crossed. I avoided it early in the season. I parked my truck. Almost instantly, another truck pulled up. There were truck and human tracks everyplace. Three fresh deer drag-marks from that morning showed in the snow. A group had driven off the laurel flats on top that morning. But, were they tough enough to go down into the valley? They didn't. Their boot tracks never left the top. I headed through the crunchy snow down into the valley. Remember the green ferns? This was a hot-spot. And, I had known this since the day after Thanksgiving. Halfway down... Another hunter!!! He must have came the whole way down the valley from the camps on the road. Someone else had seen all of the deer sign in the fern areas.
I went the rest of the way down, across the very high(and noisy) stream, and up through the snow covered laurel on the opposite mountain. The guy took my spot lol. Fair enough.
Ran right into a small doe. But, my boots crunching was too much. Jumped two more small deer. Too crunchy. I went on a scouting walk. Lots of tracks on this remote ridge.
The sun was setting. I headed back down into the valley. I would walk along the loud stream away from were the other hunter sat, if he was still there. Then, I would turn and head up the other mountain, back to my truck.
I never made the turn. I barely made it 100 yds down the stream when I saw the back half of a deer up on the side. I dropped to the ground and crawled back to a rest-tree. I couldn't see it from the tree! I crawled back to where I was. Half a deer, still. A doe, spike, 12 point? I have no idea what it is. Scoped it. Scope had ice on both ends! UGGG.. Took Several minutes to get the scope clean. Its getting dark, will the deer leave? FINALLY, the deer took a few steps forward. A six Pt! A wilderness trophy. I calmly get on one knee and steady for a good shot. Bang. The deer turns towards me for the 1st time, on his wobbly downhill death-run. Thats no 6 point! Its a very big 8!.
I reached him within a minute. WOW! What a buck for a DMAP doe hunt, in the last minutes of the season! Its getting dark. I went up where he stood for so long. He was eating the green ferns!
I gut him, and begin the "drag of all drags".
Thats another story to come.....

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