This year, was the year that I would take one of the big bucks we had been seeing. I saved my vacation time in order to put more time in the stand. We put more food plots in and moved stands to new locations. We used cover scents and played the wind to our advantage. We passed on the small bucks in order to grow the herd and never educated the does. Sometimes, when you do everything right, everything is against you.
Here in Minnesota, the archery season lasts from the middle of September to the last day of December. From the moment last season ended, I had been looking forward to getting back out and sitting in a stand. The private property that we hunt is a mixture of farm crops, woods, river bottom, and swamp.
The season started off all wrong. Hot, humid and the mosquitoes had never been thicker. I think even the deer were looking for lounge chairs by the pool. Okay, that might have been where my mind had been wandering while I was sweating my camo off and a bit light headed from being a quart low on my own blood supply. I couldn’t wait for the temp to drop and a hard frost to happen. With my Thermacell packed and ready to go, I still went out. I saw plenty of small bucks and does with fawns in tow but wanted to see them grow. I grew frustrated as the weeks went by without as much as seeing more than forked horn. Time for a change up! Duck hunting opened and I’m able to not think about the tall ten I have been dreaming about. I was able to switch gears and still enjoy the outdoors while filling the freezer. After a couple weeks of successful of duck hunting, I was ready to get back to archery before rifle hunting began.
Another little snag happened shortly before the rifle opened. My husband discovered that three of our ladder stands and two trail cameras had been stolen from the property. I was heartbroken and felt as though someone came into my home and stole from me. All that time I had spent in those stands and the deer that we saw on those cameras, it was gone. After a police report was filed, my husband and I hunted elsewhere and tried to hold our heads up high. During the time, residents that surrounded the acreage that we hunted tagged out on three of the bucks that we saw on the cameras. Another kick to the gut. Although it’s better seeing a neighbor take them rather than road kill, it still hurts. It was prime time and we had nothing to show for the hours spent out in the stand.
After a Thanksgiving trip to western Minnesota, we were re-energized and ready to get back out there. Tyler wanted to get out for a quick hunt when we got back home. On the night that I decided to stay home, I get the text from him saying, “BUCK DOWN”. Finally! He took a nice eight pointer and we have meat in the freezer.
There is something about archery hunting that I just don’t understand. When I don’t see anything after a long sit in the stand, the walk back to the truck is frustrating. I consider selling my all my equipment to take up some other crazy hobby like underwater basket weaving. As I drive away from the property, I wonder where I should sit the next day. Even though it’s a good possibility that I might be eating tag soup this season, I can’t give up. When life doesn’t go your way, you look at life and say, it all works out in the end. It’s been a cold winter so far and ice fishing has started. It will be a great way to close out archery season.