Deer season officially ended with our annual winter muzzleloader hunt at camp last weekend. We had a record NINE attendees, including one newbie and one second-timer, and we hunted hard all day Saturday (at three different locations in the game lands) and saw some deer but got little shooting, mostly because some of the boys’ guns didn’t go off. We were also hampered by a lack of snow, always a disappointment during any January hunt. I went along as “camp cook” and “deer dogger,” because I had no deer tags left. I had already filled my buck tag on a snowy December 6th morning with a nice 5-point and my “doe” tag December 7th with a mature buck that sported half-inch antlers and inferior genes.
Today there’s snow on the ground, and I took a long drive this morning through the Mercer County countryside and spotted two deer near my old house on Clay Furnace Road, but it just wasn’t the same. Gazing into the woods and spotting deer from September through early January is exciting, because any deer you see then might be “game.” But now that all deer seasons are over, those animals are just “wildlife,” and deer-spotting has lost its edge.
Good luck out there. And have a great week outdoors.
~ Don Feigert, 1-16-08