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Monday, August 29, 2016

Week Three of Bow Hunting with Kill Permits (Blog 309)

Weekend Three of my August bow hunting with kill permits proved to be another challenging Saturday. The first deer showed up not long after sunrise, materializing directly behind me about 20 minutes after shooting light began.

The deer was broadside and standing still, but it also sported a tiny pair of antlers, which made him off limits as I am only pursuing does.  Frankly, the young four pointer will not be a shooter until another two years at least will have passed, and never, of course, with kill permits.  The young buck hung around my stand for 10 more minutes before he moved on.

Twenty minutes later, two does and two fawns pranced by, but they were 35 yards away and walking steadily.  I was amazed that they did not wander over to feed on the scarlet oak acorns that have fallen near my stand.

So after three weekends of having kill permits, I have only killed one doe, the only one I have shot at.  I am not doing much to help the landowner with his deer overpopulation problem, but will try again this coming Saturday.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

When the Turkey Vultures Start to Circle (Blog 308)

Today was the second Saturday for me to bow hunt while using the kill permits that a local Botetourt County farmer and conservation police officer had arranged for me to have.  It is very interesting hunting in August, but some things are the same no matter the season.

I was tethered in my tree stand an hour before shooting light, and was fortunate to hear two dueling great horned owls battling over territory or a female owl no doubt.  Right before dawn, a cardinal started singing and soon after dawn some tufted titmice, Carolina chickadees, and Carolina wrens found a strange form (yours truly) in a tree and began to mob it.

Although normally, the patch of woods I was aloft in is a deer hot spot, this morning not a single deer came by.  The temperature was 69 degrees at dawn, which wasn't overly warm for the season, but there was no wind.  I am convinced that any deer that came by likely smelled me before I even knew they were nearby.  At 10:00 A.M, two turkey vultures started to circle above me, which I took as my cue that it was time to go home.

I'll try again next Saturday.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Acorns are Falling (Blog 307)

I didn't bowhunt with my kill permits this weekend, it was just too hot with temperatures approaching 90 degrees, humidity-wise, by 9:00 A.M. But I did go to my tree stand site in mid-afternoon and put my stand up another 20 inches or so.  The doe I killed last Saturday saw me up in the stand, even though I was fully camouflaged and had on a face mask.

The most interesting thing about my little sojourn afield was that scarlet oak acorns were already on the ground.  The last two years, it has been interesting to observe how early acorns fall.  The deer are certainly aware of this as are the gray squirrels.  Last week, I saw squirrels cutting acorns.

Next Saturday morning, I am hoping for cooler weather.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Deer Hunting with Kill Permits (Blog 306)

For the second straight year, I had deer kill permits from the Virginia Game Department in order to help out a farmer who was having severe deer damage to a cornfield.  It felt strange arising at 4:24 on August 6 to go deer hunting, but I was in tree stand about 75 minutes later, waiting for dawn to break.

I didn't see my first deer until 7:24 but that one was a  young doe and only 12 yards away when I did view it.  I sent an arrow from my crossbow through both lungs (as I would find out later) and after the blood trail, I found that I had killed my first deer of the season.

Elaine and I butchered most of the doe in about 90 minutes, froze the top and bottom loins, and put the front and back legs on ice for the meat to firm up.  Tomorrow, we will turn it into burger.  It's nice to have the first deer of the season refrigerated and it was nice to help out a landowner.