Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One more deer (reprisal)

The crumpled doe lying 100 steps away from the ladder stand represented a saving grace to an otherwise uneventful deer season.

Yes, I'll have meat for the freezer and I again ripped down the goose egg from the 2007 season, but the defining buck has eluded me once more.

I've given all since the Michigan shotgun/rifle opener Nov. 15. The tally for times out as of Nov. 27 registers nine. A couple of those notches are all-dayers, too.

I did get a look at Mr. Big on Nov. 15 and even launched a couple Hornady SST slug missiles his way but to no avail. I watched one round kick up dirt under his feet. I needed a couple more yards. He bolted for the neighbor's stand of pines and I believe that's where he's been ever since. Or he was given a ride from the area in the back of someone else's truck.

He ventured from his cover Nov. 18, and I peered through the binos 300 yards away and watched his loopy behavior as he obviously was bitten by the rut.

That remains his last public appearance.

The God of my understanding did treat me decent on the doe. It turned up to be a doe I did not want to cut down only because it had a yearling in tow. However, it was running in the herd of five or six and I couldn't tell it apart. It appears that the little guy -- a button buck -- is doing fine because I see every time I'm out. He crosses the field from one patch of cover to the other and one day a mere 30 yards in front of my ground blind.

Hopefully he can make it until next year when he can sport some real headgear.

So with the cold winds of December now upon us, where does this leave me physically and spiritually?

A big-hearted down but not out, that's where. And like last year, looking for one more deer, maybe two, which is always the siren's call this time of year.

I still have two seasons left that could bring home the buck of a lifetime: muzzleloader (opens Dec. 7) and late archery season. The late archery period potentially could be the best of all since I drew a tag for the Shiawassee National Refuge. Pretty tough to get and from what I've been told Mr. Big Buck thrives there.

But for now I'm in deer meat heaven, complements of my friends at Richmond Meat Packers, who set me up with tasty venison sausage, hunters' sticks and links.

With a little less than a month of the season left, we go on.

And there's more fun to be had. Probably better than what the deer hunting has had to offer.

Pheasant hunting resumed Dec. 1, along with grouse. Seems like bird hunting is where it's at. I'm knocking down something each of the few times I've been out.

So why haven't I been out more? It's a good question and one I've been mulling for some time.

The mystique of Mr. Big Buck, that's why.

Good enough.

(Look for a long-awaited "Youth & You" article at www.macshuntingmag.com from a day in the woods with Mac and Zac on Nov. 26).


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