Thursday, November 10, 2011

A little perspective

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

After my last post debating whether the first week of November is truly the best one in which to bag a trophy buck, I only got out for one solid day over my weekend, which falls on Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, I went back to the public land spot where I found success back in October for a three-hour evening sit in the stand. And Monday, Nov. 7, was a mere 40-minute hunt as the sun set near my house on private land. Didn't see a deer then either but don't let that short hunt fool you, I've connected before in such a same manner.

But these quick jaunts are usually suited better for longer shots that can come during the gun season.

Speaking of which, at this point on the eve of Veterans' Day, I'm resigned to wait for the excitement sparked by the opening day of gun season, Nov. 15, and the next day, Nov. 16.

Since I shot that seven-point a little under a month ago Oct. 16, I haven't seen a single deer. Which is about how the season went last year -- I saw one buck and shot him.

I'll likely be on public land in both St. Clair and Lapeer counties for the opener.

Which is a good thing and also a bad thing.

Good thing because lots of hunters move the deer; bad thing because with all the hunters set up behind what appears to be every tree in the woods it seems like you're always stepping on someone's toes.

And first-day gun hunters are hungry and often ornery.

A run-in can leave a bad taste in your mouth so it's best to give everyone a wide berth until the orange-suited images disappear from the radar screen.

Usually I've already connected during the bow season so I'm easy.

Another reason to be happy for the advent of gun season is the Department of Natural Resources will set up a more convenient and closer check station in proximity of my house.

Why is this good?

So I can get the heads of Dwiddle-Dee and Dwiddle-Dum out of my shed -- which reeks to high heaven right now -- by taking them to be aged by an officer and then pick up a hunter's cooperative patch.

Afterward, I'll likely let the Ron the Taxidermist in Columbus Township work on the seven, but I'll finish the job on the three-pointer that did in my Jeep.

What's funny is the more I look at the seven the better he gets. He's not a monster by any means and would get scoffed at in a managed ranch setting in Kansas. But for public land around here, most of us would have locked and loaded on him, or in this case, drawn and released.

That is why I rather enjoyed one of the 32 nuggets in the November issue of "Outdoor Life" I ran across today while I was in the library, which was directed at realistic hunting expectations. This item was in an article titled, "No excuses this year: The rut comes once a year. Here are 32 ways to not mess it up."

To paraphrase, No. 30 said what might be a trophy in one area might not be somewhere else.

But I'm not gonna let this keep me from believing the long-coveted 12-point monster will be jumping out in front of my position Nov. 15.


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