A Season of Missed Opportunities - A Story About Disappearing and Taking Care of Others' Unfinished Business
As November continued on, the "fun" was just beginning to for me. The weekend after my small unloaded gun failure, Paul and I found ourselves perched 25-feet up a pine tree on section of Alcoa gamelands in Rowan County, NC. Muzzleloaders in hand and me running the camera as well, we sat that still morning hearing duck hunters break the silence as daylight slowly crept over the trees. The occasional muzzleloader shot rang out as well, putting that feeling that "it could happen any time now" in us. And it did, just as heavy fog rolled in.
The first two full weeks of North Carolina's Archery season are in the books and we have been fortunate enough to spend a couple days in the woods. No deer yet but lots of valuable information has been gained on this particular piece of public land we are hunting.
Labor Day morning, Cory and I headed over to the Alcoa gameland for the opening day of the North Carolina Dove season. We have been scouting this area for deer hunting quite a bit during the off season so we decided to setup at first light near the power line clear cut to see if we could catch the morning flight of doves. Not long after we had setup we had a dove fly over us that caught us by total surprise. We saw a few others on the power lines but nothing that flew to us and decided to take a walk around and see if we could jump any on the new logging roads; we did but no shots were taken. On our way back to where we had our gear set I flushed one dove out ahead of us and took a shot but did not connect. Although we did not leave with any doves for dinner we used a good part of the day to scout for deer and are now very comfortable in the area and we do believe we will take some deer as the season progresses. All in all it was a great day out and it beat sitting in the office! Now hopefully our scouting endeavors pay off in the coming weeks. Be sure to keep an eye out for many new posts coming!
P.S. - We would love to hear from our readers how they did on dove this year, so feel free to share your stories with us!
The last few weekends have either been spent getting gear cleaned, organized and stored for the upcoming hunting season(s) or hitting the woods to do a little scouting of old and new places. Since I'll be hunting South Carolina for the first time in 10 years, I've been driving down an hour and a half from my house on Sundays to scout with my father and grandfather. They've driven me by places I used to hunt when in my teens and we have walked new places I have never been to before. Let's just say the amount of deer sign we have been finding has me pumped for the October 1st muzzleloader opener down there in the Upstate! I foresee a stocked freezer of SC deer just due to the number of good places we have to hunt, long season and liberal bag limits. Not to be forgotten, I've also been checking out a spot on Alcoa where Paul was blessed to take a mature doe last December on a hunt with me. We planned to cover the whole parcel of land one Friday, but a boot blowout back at the truck after making our way through one half of the area didn't let that happen. But we did a test run with my boat (a 10 minute boat ride saves us a mile to mile and a half walk!) last Saturday with our friend Seth, the cool morning making us all ready for deer season to get here. Parking the boat near just a 100 yards from a tree we had picked out for Seth, we were able to make a quick and quiet approach to said tree, validating the use of the boat come hunting season. But the day was just not for a test run, we let Seth practice using a climbing stand, got a video setup picked out and bushwhacked our way through head high weeds and briars to see where the deer that accompanied Paul's December doe had went to. Outside of a few Sundays in September scouting in South Carolina, my pre-season scouting will end on Monday morning at Alcoa after hunting the North Carolina dove season opener with Paul; I've got to get a tree picked out for next Saturday afternoon (that's right, bow season opens here in North Carolina a week from today!) so I can watch some oak trees from afar in order to pick out an ambush spot for the following weekend's hunt with Paul. From then on out it's in-season scouting, checking out spots on the walk out after morning hunts, during midday and on the walk in during afternoons.
Below are our hunting season reviews. First up is Paul's end of season recap followed by Cory's storytelling of the late season, enjoy!
So with work keeping me busy and away from home, coupled with being a newlywed, my hunting time this Fall has been reduced to say the least. When you couple this with the fact that I have been working in KY and now Indiana, both home to some whooper bucks, well, I have been salivating at the chance to get back out in the field. Luckily I was off this week and I was able to do just that.
Wow, time flies when you are busy with work and try to squeeze in hunts. Makes me forget that I need to put my hunts into print when they are all said and done so I can share them with you guys and look back on them days, months and even years later. All that being said, let me fill you guys in on how my first muzzleloader hunt of the year went back at the end of October.
60 degrees. A NNW wind. Hickory nuts and acorns falling. It was a perfect morning to start out the 2011 deer hunting season here in North Carolina at Alcoa Gamelands, except for the whole not seeing a deer thing. But hunting is not always about killing or even seeing the quarry you are after, at least in my view. It's about enjoying the thing you love and getting back into nature. And boy did it feel good to be back in the woods, bow in hand.
Unfortunately I was only able to get video of the hunt via my Go Pro since I left my camera arm at home. Along with my binoculars! Oh well, there are 4 months of deer season left for me to get plenty of footage. It would have been nice to record in better audio my exchange with a "deer". A "deer" that at first I thought was just a tree creaking before I realized it was one bleating. A "deer" that turned out to be another hunter after I saw his blind above where I sat while I walked out. For some reason this guy didn't notify me he was setup there when I walked in right at the break of dawn, otherwise I would have went further down the oak ridge or possibly a few hundred yards past him to the edge of a clearcut. Oh well, at least it made for an interesting morning thinking that I had a whole herd of deer 50 yards behind me and in a spot I couldn't see.
Now the real hunting starts next week as cooler temps are supposed to be moving in on Friday and I'll actually be going on an evening hunt, which are way more successful for me in September and October. Did any of you NC guys and gals have any luck on Saturday?
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Curran's Outdoor Adventures
GoBlog (Get Outdoors)
Grants Blog (Growing Deer TV)
Hunt Like Your Hungry
inFOCUS (Campbell Cameras)
inMotion (Heartland Bowhunter)
Make It Happen Outdoors
Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
The Rivah Blog
The Will to Hunt
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