Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Now is the time?

I call this photo, "Looking 23-feet down at the end of an arrow." Just to the right of that first maple tree is where I shot the 7-point on Oct. 16.

MAHFS photo by Mac Arnold

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

When I turn the calendar over to November, it's always with nervous excitement.

There also is some apprehension.

The first week in November is considered the best week of the rut, the deer's breeding cycle.

If a deer hunter is going to make it happen and shoot the brute buck of his or her life, this is one of the prime times to get the job done.

I often feel I've blown it if I don't end up with Mr. Big on the buck pole after the week has come and gone.

But really this is just a bogus thought that dances around inside my head to create chaos. I now banish this thought from my mind forever ... (yeah, right).

OK, if I was to look at the record, the ledger would come up with only a handful of bucks being taken during this week. And they were not brutes, nor in recent times.

The best deer I've ever taken was during the end of Michigan's muzzleloader season in mid-December in 2007. He was a nice 8-point with a 19-inch spread. Really I can't take all of the credit because it came at the end of one of our patented one-man drives I do with my pal Walt.

But, yes, I did make the shot with the .45 cal when the buck stood up and started moving through the thick undergrowth of briers and saplings along one of the small patches of woods on the dairy farm we used to hunt in Ingham County.

So there's another one that wasn't taken during the first week of November.

I've just returned to work after a deer hunting sabbatical. This year I chose to take the Halloween week off. I often bounce back and forth between the two weeks.

In my opinion, this is the better week here in Michigan. However, I saw nothing but turkeys and squirrel hunters at the spots around my St. Clair County home in the six out of nine days I went out.

I would have ventured more from the comfort zone but the Jeep was in the shop getting repaired for damage from the buck I slammed into on I-94 two weeks ago. (See a previous post.) And two days into the vacation, the oft unpredictable "Blue Bomb" -- the affectionate term I've slapped on my 1997 Dodge Ram -- blew a transmission leak and was also deadlined. I have racked up more than 500K in mileage on this beast and the rods inside the tranny were rotted.

Well enough of my sordid tale.

Will this famed first week of November deliver as advertised? Probably not for me. Sorry for the negativity, folks, but again, what's the record say?

And the laugher is that this year I killed a buck the earliest into a season I can ever remember, which was on Oct 16.

So it's nice to go into this week without any pressure or expectations. Maybe I won't even go out.

Don't bet on it.


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