Monday, October 11, 2010

Waiting for change

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

Michigan's deer archery season is slowly taking off for me.

I wish I could say I'm geeked and in the stand almost every chance I get, but that would be an untruth.

The predictable lull is on.

After the first few opening days of the bow season until about Oct. 20, there seems to be little deer movement. At least in the areas I hunt.

But I'm growing wiser in my old age.

Instead of burning out on days with low percentages of seeing deer, let alone getting a shot on a nice buck, I turn to other activities, such as waterfowl, turkey and upland birds.

Some hunters might respond with a "hrrumphhhhh" to such talk.

I totally understand this.

The never-know principle is in effect and you certainly won't take a deer while searching the skies for geese with an over/under in your grasp.

As I've said in "Mac's Tips," hitting the deer woods now is what I see as a dry run for when the moment of truth occurs -- Mr. Rutting Buck appears like a ghost under your stand.

So far I've been out three times. This would be unheard of five years ago or possibly even three years ago.

The wiser-calmer hunter will eventually emerge from under his warm "fire" blanket, I promise.

What I've found is the change is sudden, where the woods behind the house was once vacant of deer, the switch will click on and the chasing begins in a frenzy.

Lately, the weather has been "Indian summer-like," even reaching 80 degrees earlier this week.

Mr. Big Buck barely stirs in his bed in such heat.

That makes two of us.


One thing that did get my adrenaline pumping was helping out a fellow hunter track a deer he shot last night and couldn't find in the darkness.

I so wanted to help Brad find that deer today. He is a "newbie" deer hunter, armed with a crossbow.

Apparently he hit it a little too far back, missing the liver and other vitals with his bolt.

The blood thinned to specks and then none at all at 250 yards.

He'll have to get on another one, my best medicine for such an occurrence when it happens to me -- either losing one or flat-out missing the target.

While driving away I almost felt as if it was me who lost one.



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