I had one lone goal in the 2014 season and that was to finally get a harvest on video. I had been trying for 3 years prior and just was not able to seal the deal so to speak even though I kept getting closer and closer (I actually videoed Paul from the tree while he sneaked up on and shot a button buck we had come in and lay down, but it just looks like he is shooting at the ground in it). But that all changed in a matter of 2 hours, if that, into my first hunt last year. Watch it for yourself and I hope you enjoy!
So I dropped the cash on a non-resident South Carolina hunting license this year so I could hunt with my dad and grandfather. Weekends in August and September were spend scouting in preparation for the first weekend in October. I had already been hunting a few Saturdays in September once North Carolina's archery season opened as well as the Eastern muzzleloader opener Paul posted a few weeks ago. But nothing beats October and the changing fall colors in brings to the deer woods and that first weekend of muzzleloader season in the Upstate of SC was what I had been waiting for. Friday the 4th found us hunting a strip of oaks running between pines and a clearcut on Sumter National Forest land in Laurens County, both in the morning and evening.
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.
Note: This was written way back in fresman year of high school, as you will be able to tell. I would just like to say that it got me an A-! Hey, gotta brag a little...
"Beep, beep, beep, bee..." That's how my morning started out one early November day. It was the day after Thanksgiving, a historic day for me. As I woke up, I felt a brisk chill to the cool Fall air. "What a perfect day for deer hunting." I said to myself.
As I got up, so did my dad, grandpa and our friend Matt. I felt so tired when I had awakened that I did not even feel hungry. So, after I skipped breakfast, I put on my hunting clothes and, after waiting on my guardians, off we went. As we headed towards public land in Lancaster County, South Carolina, my dad asked, "Are you finally gonna' kill one?" I replied with, "Yeah, and it's going to be a big buck!" "Well, I hope you sure do." said my grandpa. After our little conversation, we reached our destination and got our hunting gear together.
As we started down the long road bed towards the cut-off, we joined Matt, who had gotten there before us, and started talking. "Where are you going to hunt?" my dad asked Matt. "I think I'll hunt in that gully where I've seen deer before." replied Matt. "Where are you going to put Cory?" asked my grandpa. "I think I'll put him in a pine near the road, while I'll be on the other side of him down in the gully below there towards the thick pines." my dad said. As we kept on walking, Matt broke off and I asked my grandpa where he was going to hunt that morning. He said that he was going to hunt the creek bottom below me in the thick pines. When we had finally gotten to my tree, I was exhausted. After I climbed the tree and got everything situated, I settled in and started waiting.
At about 7:09 or 7:10 a.m., I got cold, so I put on my blaze orange toboggan. About two minutes after I put it on, I noticed a deer coming straight at me from the cut-off. I also noticed that it was a buck! When he was within 50 or 60 yards from me, I found a hole to shoot through. Kablaam! A shot rang out from my .243 over the morning silence. He ran about 20 more yards and a final shot put him down for good. There he lay beside my tree after a 10 or 20 yard run. Needless to say, I was shaking all over from the excitement!
As I looked down at him, I knew I had accomplished a great feat. After all the shaking, I said to myself, "Wow, what a deer!" Right after I said that, at 7:30, another deer came through. This deer was an even BIGGER buck, but somehow I managed to stay cool. When he cut down a different fork of the same trail the other deer had taken, Kablaam! I shot him. Kablaam! Another shot rang out! After that, I realized I was out of bullets. All while he was laying in the cut-off, a mere 50 yards from me, bleeding from his side and sucking air! As I tried to reload, he got to his feet and trotted off right as I was taking aim. To say I was mad is an understatement!
At 10:00 a.m., my dad came. "Did you get that big buck?" he asked excitedly. "I don't know. I shot him though." I replied. "Well, did you get anything else?" he yelled from below me. "Yeah, I think it's a three or five pointer." I said. "Well, where's he at?" I pointed right beside him. To me, it seemed like my dad was the happiest out of the two of us.
While he gutted the deer, Matt and I looked for the other deer. To make a long story short, the bigger buck was never found after hours of searching. Even though I was upset that we weren't able to find the other deer, I still was glad to have gotten my five pointer. Yet it makes me sad to think that many anti-hunting activists would like to take this joy away from me and others.
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Curran's Outdoor Adventures
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Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
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