This season started out pretty much like previous hunting seasons except that the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) decided to move opening day to the 2nd weekend of November rather than the customary 1st weekend. I've no idea why they did that but based on my personal observations and comments from other local hunters, DNR pretty much screwed things up for the hunters. Moving opening day back a week meant the rut was in full swing for about a week before we could get into the woods to hunt. Game cameras also backed this up. Leave it to the DNR to screw things up for the hunters, which they rely on so heavily for funding. The revenue obtained from a half million hunters results in a lot of operating dollars for the DNR. Great management on their part.....NOT!
For me, opening weekend was a huge disappointment. I saw one of the regular does with her fawns multiple times. I saw a single doe as well. As I write this, the season is two-thirds gone and I've yet to see a buck on my property. I usually fill my tag on opening weekend with a buck. I guess the planets just weren't in alignment.
OK, on with the story.
During the late summer, I built a deer stand. There will be more on the stand project when I get a chance, later during the winter, to write the article. It was a welcome addition to the hunting season, especially when the daytime highs were in the single digits and a 15 MPH wind was blowing. Needless to say, the small propane heater I had in the stand was a great asset.
Fast forward to a few days before the 2nd weekend of the deer firearms season....it was late afternoon and we had been party hunting for a couple of hours. The temps had warmed a bit and we were hopeful to see a buck come out to the food plot located at the far end of the hay field. There was often a doe on or around the plot and almost always were there in the evening. At 4:00 PM, about 50 minutes before sundown, I saw something I'd not seen before.
I looked up from my book (yeah, I read in the stand to pass the hours) and there stands a doe in the plot, which was certainly not that uncommon. But what immediately had me confused was the red "object" I was seeing below her head. She was about 130 yds away and my 8X binoculars were not giving me the details I needed to help understand what I was seeing. I pointed my rifle out the stand's window and cranked up the Vortex optic to 16 power. With that, I quickly realized that somebody had managed to shoot the doe in the head....and there she was, walking around my food plot. I'd heard no shots since arriving in the stand 2 hours earlier so this also wasn't making much sense.
WARNING: If you are somewhat squeamish, I suggest you stop reading now and do NOT proceed to the next page. It isn't pretty.
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