Friday, October 24, 2008

Lost 'em both

Yep. In one week I lost the prime Sanilac County, Michigan, farm country, big buck growin', corn- and bean-fed deer oasis and then a doe I hit with a homemade arrow launched from my recurve.

It happens. Sometimes you can get quickly branded as a loser for such an act by those of us in the hunting community we label as "outsiders." And sometimes even from those within the circle.

But I'm not going to allow myself to have a self-imposed, ass-kickin' party over it. I tried. In fact, I looked for five hours within every piece of landscape in the tight surrounds behind the St. Clair County homestead and it came up no sale.

However, I did jump a deer hours into the search that fit the description of the doe that would not be steaks, but it didn't look too wounded if indeed that was the deer. So maybe it lives to be hunted another day or it fed some happy coyotes who got to partake in an easy meal.

I guess Mom had the best advice: "Oh well, another one will come along." True.

Then, I was watching a show last night hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy where so-called "hunting greats," such as Bob Foulkrod, Larry Weishuhn and Pat Reeves were engaged in a whitetail challenge to see who could bring home the best buck.

In this battle of the legends, Weishuhn hit a buck and lost it. Hit the buck in nearly the same spot with a rifle that I did with my recurve. He summed up his botched attempt something like this: "It's gonna happen from time to time and it's just a part of deer hunting."

Still doesn't mean we're gonna like it. But like I told a friend in an email, the best way to move on is to move on, which means taking up the captain's chair 25 feet in a tree.

Being it is the week before Halloween, now is not time to be hangin' my head.

I have to be upbeat for this is the time us bowhunters live and breathe: pre-rut and rut.

The temperatures are getting nearly perfect with every morning putting frost on the pumpkin.

No time to be down.

I got another rocket-booster of confidence today shooting the old reliable 1993 Mountaineer bow. It's a wheels-before-the-cams bow yet for the time it was cutting edge with 80-percent letoff.

For me, it's a proven killer. Has packed the freezer multiple times. Had I popped the doe that fateful Monday, Oct. 20, with the compound rather than the recurve it would've been a 70-yard tracking job 'cause the arrow would have went out through the heart. On the recurve shot, I just didn't get enough penetration.

Doesn't mean the recurve is a done deal for me, just for this time in the season I can't afford to have another run off -- especially if it's Mr. Big Buck. So there's where the lesson comes in, no more messing around, the rut is closing in for gosh sakes.

On the property, well people are people. The farmer's daughter (notice how it's always the farmer's daughter?) figured her boss who "helps her out alot" needed the meat to help a sister-in-law who was hurtin' more than me.

Sounded odd to me since any ethical hunter either eats the meat or donates it to someone who can use it. Regardless, I was expendable.

I eventually got a more true to life reason from the farmer himself who spilled the "boss is good to her" bit. And then summarized the whole deal with that I would "have to share the wealth."

Now where have I been hearing this snappy lil' phrase. Lemme think ... hmmmmmm.

Barack Obama, maybe?

I thought, yeah, I'll share the wealth, and immediately went and packed up my ladder stand to go on a better property.

I guess I don't share very well.


Afterward, I knocked on some nearby doors where I got a great place to goose hunt with my son. Might be a one-time only gig.

Then again, it could turn out to be the mother-of-all goose spots. That doesn't sound right ...

Anyway, I'll be going there Sunday, Oct. 26, and probably will do the rest of the deer season near my house on public and private land in St. Clair County.

The spot in Lapeer County where I'll be Sunday might even turn into a deer spot. Never know. I'm going to see if the farmer in charge can put me somewhere Nov. 15, the opening of Michigan's deer gun season, but if not, I'll keep on looking.

There's also going to be week of deer hunting in West Virginia during the Thanksgiving holiday.

So what's there to be down about? Not a damn thing that I can see.

Deer hunt on.


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