For the second deer season in a row, I hunted my tail off until the bitter end.
However, the last two days of Michigan's late antlerless firearms season -- Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 -- were unseasonably warm. Nearly 50 degrees on the First. Kinda reminded me of early spring gobbler season.
The best part of these two days was getting my pal Marysville Dan back into the game. He had been sitting out the past 15 years because of some fabricated legalities he thought would prevent him from getting a tag.
by Mac Arnold
We at Mac Arnold's Hunting & Fishing Spectacular re-introduced Marysville Dan to the thrills of deer hunting in 2010.
I'm sure he'll want to have a rematch of our New Year's Eve gig.
As I imagined, he wasn't too impressed by my Sanilac County dairy farm spot. It is a rather small patch of woods that sits out in the open with cut, rough-tilled fields surrounding it.
But I told him about 1 in 6 trips there I would jump deer out of there and it would make a great one-man drive to a stander posted along the bigger timber to the east, which is their main escape route.
Reluctantly, he suited up in his orange vest and headed out for the slow march to his position, which was probably made even less inviting by the rolling, frozen rows of turned-up dirt.
After getting him right where he needed to be via cell phone communication, I began the drive. I figured they weren't home since I had been less than stealthy with my conversation a mere 50 yards from the entry point.
I staggered into the opening by the rotten apple tree and up popped a couple of deer. I gave the hootie-hoot screech (I can't whistle) and had a brief window for a shot.
A clean miss.
But old Dan's vintage Mossberg rang out three shots and then another lone shot.
I sauntered over and gave him the "I told you so." He had a glazed look on his face like he had seen a ghost.
He missed all four shots but was excitedly telling me how he wished he had the last shot back, which was a 30-yarder before the doe ducked into the forbidden zone.
It was all good.
Luckily he missed the first deer as well as he couldn't confirm whether it had antlers or not. That would have been something I wouldn't have wanted to explain to the farmer.
So, the buck I shot Nov. 18 stands. A one-and-done year. First one since 2000.
But I'll have a new Martin bow to get better acquainted with over the summer and surely will be driven to get its cherry popped in a big way during 2011's archery season.