Saturday, I spent almost an entire day in a Craig County black oak, bowhunting for deer. The only time I debarked from the tree was between 1 and 3:00 P.M. when I went to my vehicle to rest, eat, and call Elaine.
And during that time aloft, I never loosed an arrow, although between 4:30 and 6:40, I had nine different deer around me. There's an old saying that "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," and close certainly doesn't count in bowhunting. The deer just wouldn't come within the self-restricted 20-yard range that I have with my Matthews Switchback compound. They stayed on the opposite side of the logging road that I was set up along (picture below) and just wouldn't cross to my side.
And, yes, I was frustrated and exhausted at the end of the day from being constantly ready to prepare to shoot but never doing so. But the day was not a bad one. Before the deer arrived, I observed a number of fascinating events. Two mature turkey hens and I engaged in chatter, the three of us purring, clucking, and yelping at each other, but they never came within bow range either.
Later, a raven came flying in and perched right above, until it became alarmed at the blob, me, below it. Several hours later a red-tailed hawk did the same thing, terrorizing the chipmunk population before the raptor, too, became alarmed at my outline.
I didn't sleep well thinking about the missed opportunities. This afternoon, I am returning to that Craig County property and moving my treestand to the opposite side of the logging road.