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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Virginia Bucks in the Morning, Does in the Evening (Blog 366)

Sunday morning, I went deer hunting on one of our properties in Craig County. I set up high on a ridge where I could overlook a feeding flat below, a place I have killed a number of deer over the years. With the general firearms season in and my being afield with a rifle, I was looking to kill a nice doe or a mature buck.

However, I never saw a doe all morning, though I did see four young bucks, drifting through the area and periodically fighting with each other. The sightings were extremely exciting because at one point, I had bucks around me for almost an hour.

That evening, I went hunting on our land in the Eagle Rock area of Botetourt County. I had never hunted the property before, just having bought it last year.  So I arrived at 2:00, set up by 2:15 and killed a doe by 2:30. I think I will hunt this property more in the future.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Virginia Muzzleloader Season Success (Blog 365)

After not being able to hunt Monday through Wednesday of the first week of Virginia's muzzleloader season, I finally was able to plan an after school hunt in Roanoke County. I drove quickly from school to the Roanoke County food plot that was my destination and about 90 seconds after I set up, the deer began filing into the plot.

First came a two pointer, then a nice  2 1/2-year-old six pointer, then another two pointer, and finally a doe. I watched the doe for about two minutes, then she moved slightly and I was able to make an easy 35-yard shot.

Saturday, I am heading for West Virginia to turkey hunt in the Jefferson National Forest in Monroe County. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, November 6, 2017

No luck on Opening Weekend of Virginia's Muzzleloading Season (Blog 364)

I was very confident that I would kill a deer on opening weekend of Virginia's muzzleloading season. I had chosen to hunt a food plot in Roanoke County so that I could kill a doe, given that every day in Roanoke is antlerless during the smokepole season.

However, the action was slow Saturday morning, and the evening was even slower. I saw a non-shooter six pointer but that was about it. A doe came near my blind but it spotted me in the blind...which is the last time I won't have a face mask on.  Sunday was even slower as I saw no deer all morning and when around 9:45, a youngster on a an ATV started driving up and down a nearby road, I decided it was time to go home.

I was hoping to go Tuesday morning because we have a school workday beginning at noon, but the forecast is for heavy rain...so I guess I will just have to wait a while.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Success on Opening Day of Virginia's Fall Turkey Season (Blog 363)

What an incredible morning on opening day of Virginia's fall turkey season. I had three flocks within 100 yards of me at dawn - too many it seems for me to decide what to do, which caused me to sit tight for several hours. That indecision caused me to wait several hours with the result being that all three flocks left for who knows where.

But one I started moving about, I encountered a flock of birds and ended up taking a hen from it. It is always a thrill to kill a turkey on opening day of the autumn season.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Turkeys and Deer All Around Me in Virginia Woods (Blog 362)

Saturday morning I went to a Botetourt County, Virginia cattle farm to bowhunt, and what a morning it was.  I saw nothing but squirrels until 8:45 when two yearling bucks and a flock of eight turkeys showed up the same time and came within 20 to 30 yards of my hang-on stand.

I was not interested in shooting either of the bucks (a 5 pointer and a 2 pointer), but I very much wanted to try to arrow a turkey. But there was just too many eyes on me.  Once, I started to raise my bow, but one of the turkeys spotted that little bit of movement, which resulted in all of them moving off to about 40 yards away.

Meanwhile, the 5 pointer stalked back and forth in front of me, just 10 yards away. He apparently sensed that something was not right about the area, but he wasn't quite sure just what. Finally, he and the smaller buck followed the turkeys up the mountain.

Who knows what I will see when I go to a different cattle farm this evening.

Monday, October 16, 2017

First Rutting Activity in Virginia Woods (Blog 361)

Sunday morning while bowhunting in Craig County, I witnessed my first rutting activity of this autumn. I watched a  2 1/2-year-old six pointer stroll up a mountain on a logging road. But when he reached a fork in the road, he was met by a 3 1/2-year-old eight pointer that was not pleased with the appearance.

The eight made an aggressive move on the six, then made a scrape on the road. The six pointer decided that the best thing to do was back off about 15 yards. The budding skirmish settled fairly amicably, the two then proceeded to walk up the mountain, the six pointer following discretely behind.

About half hour later, I arrowed a deer and was home for lunch, so it was a good morning.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Canning Venison and Peeling Crabapples (Blog 360)

Today was opening day of Virginia's archery season, and I was fortunate enough to kill a deer on land we own in Craig County. On the drive home, I pulled over and called Elaine and asked if this deer was the one she might want to can. Earlier, Elaine had talked about canning one of the deer I killed this year.

My wife said yes and after I finished removing the meat from the whitetail, and she finished cutting the meat up and placing it in a cooler (Elaine prefer to chill the meat overnight and work it up the next day), we planned out our Sunday. After we finish canning the venison, we will cut up the crabapples I gathered today, and we will make a cobbler.

If we still feel ambitious after those two acts, Elaine says we may make applesauce from some Jonathan apples. I really enjoy talking with her while we do those type things. It's a great way to spend a day together.