Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's a wrap

With the way the year ended, it's been hard for me to put down the final words on the 2005 deer season.

Just disgusted I guess. Or burnt out. Maybe both.

I went out three more times for deer, once at Bruce's farm in Ingham County and twice in Sanilac County on Hunter Access Program land.

All three included a debacle of some sort.

While at Bruce's that Dec. 30th day, everything was going along smoothly. I was enjoying myself, especially after recovering my dog zapper control module (I'll write about how I lost it possibly another time). The weather was comfortable for it being late December and the wind was in my face. Perfect.

That is until I chose to make a creek crossing at the wrong spot. The recent melt off caused all the creeks on the acreage to be higher than usual. I saw a couple of large logs underwater and thought that could keep a short guy like me just a tad higher and drier. I pounced off of the one toward the shallower water and into the deep I went. A double soaker above both knees and down into both boots.

I was a wet cat. Cursin', I sat down on a log on the other side and ringed out my socks and decided I would go on with the hunt, being I had only an hour to go before having to leave for work.

Had it been a typical late December day temperature-wise, I would have headed straight to the truck. No way would I have lasted if the temperatures had been in the single digits.

So I gathered intel for next year -- if there is a next year for me there -- by observing travel routes along the back corridor of the creek and thick cover the deer use but didn't get any live action.


The first of the Sanilac County hunts was during the late firearms doe season on a frigid day earlier in the month. Howling wind and when the snow was still nearly knee high. I slogged across the home owner's field directly across from his house dressed to the gills and sat down on the edge of the closest woods. Heard no shots and saw nothing moving except one tweetie bird that I've never seen before in Michigan.

I went out again to this AO on New Year's Eve in an effort to use my new Knight .45-cal muzzleloader but failed to bring along the necessary discs to shoot it. That's what happens when you're a know-it-all. Had I taken the time to get a briefing by the guy at the gun store, I would have known what I needed. And I also remembered the deal came with a video. And did I think to pop that into the VCR? Noooooooo, I didn't because I knew it all.

Luckily or unluckily, however you want to look at it, I had my bow, so off I went into the same woods only to the other side. I liked the setup but the steady drizzle was wearing on me. Plus, I left my gloves in the truck. Many shots were going off all around to remind me of how I could have been sitting there with my nice shiny Knight.

I waited until the final dot of light and was more than ready to hop back into the truck with the heater roaring.

There was a brief foray behind the house Jan. 1 just as the sun was going down but highly uneventful.

So as I leave this season and reflect -- mostly on the miscues -- isn't that the way it always goes for a hunter? I think of what my friend John of Smiths Creek reminded me as I bemoaned the failed op on the 8-pointer: "You killed a couple deer, what's the problem?"

Where are the horns?