Was that it?
Here I am checking the bait I spread around at the Sanilac County, Mich., hunting spot to see if it had drawn in any customers of the whitetail variety.
By Mac Arnold
So did the three missile launchers, plus the two closer shots, I sent zinging toward the four does Thursday, Dec. 29, constitute the end of my 2011 Michigan deer season?
I'm hoping not.
After four or five outings at the Sanilac County dairy farm I've been able to hunt this month during the late firearms season, I finally had some customers prance out onto the barley field near the woods where I'm set up.
Right as the final moments of legal shooting time were ticking down, I opened my eyes wide to make sure what I saw was real: yes, there were deer grazing on the other side of the field.
The recent downfall of slushy snow made them appear like spaceships over a barren moonscape, just the way I like it.
Unfortunately they were on the outer fringes of the Mossberg 695's effective range. There were probably just inside 200 yards. When I went over to investigate where I shot, I quit counting at 180 steps and still had a few more yards to go.
The one doe hit the deck after the first shot and I thought I had connected. But the investigation proved otherwise.
What the Hail Marys did do was get them moving and closer into range, which was another aspect to my tactics.
On the final two blasts, the whitetails were starting and stopping across the grassy plain on the downward side of the slight slope in the middle of the field. They were within the 150-yard range, but in retrospect, I was only getting partial silhouettes.
As usual, the misses haunted me all night and into the next day and allowed the butt-kicking machine to go on. But what I did like is how I was aggressive in clicking off the shots and even popped through a window in the blind to brace the slug gun against a tree for stronger support.
Marysville Dan texted me after I gave him the sorry blow-by-blow report and said "fun."
But for me, "fun" includes also gutting, dragging and loading a fat doe into the back of the pickup truck.
With only two days remaining, I have written off all workouts and/or runs and will primarily hunt.
I will go down fighting to the end.