This has been a really strange season for me so far. I didn't get much time to practice with my bow throughout the summer, working overtime and side jobs, but I shot and felt confident enough up to 25yd that I decided to give bow season a go. Long story short, I saw plenty of deer, but missed the same doe twice at under 25yd, and decided to wait until ml season.

Now, I am a certified gun nut, so I have always used bow season as a "warmup" to the "real season," using it to put a doe or two in the freezer and watch the changing patterns from late summer to fall. So when ml came around, I was fired up. Opening morning, I climbed up into my stand on public land, accessed by boat, and waited for sunrise. 1hr after sunrise I saw a small doe to my right through a thicket, then noticed 2 larger does ahead of it. I was going to take one of the larger does, but they were run around by a grunting buck that came through in a blur. All I could see was a thick neck, fat body, blunt nose, and decent looking antlers through the thicket about 60 yd away. I picked a hole, he stepped in and stopped, and I fired. When my dad and I found him, I had hit him a bit further back than I thought, and his guts had pulled out of the exit hole, but they were not busted open. I was surprised when I saw that he was a big 4 with a short, stocky body, and funky nose.

The next morning I got a bit spoiled, as I had not seen anything within the first 1.5hr, and I decided to check out ESPN on my cell phone. This browsing session was interupted by the sound of crunching leaves, and this 6pt ended up almost under my stand by the time I could get my gun on him. The shot was 5yd, and he ran in a semicircle to around 45yd behind my stand before falling over and expiring. I doubled with my dad that morning, but I got a migraine just as I began to field dress my deer and my handful of photos of the deer were all that I got.

So far, 2.5hr on stand and 2 bucks, so I am feeling a little bittersweet in the emotional department, knowing that my season was going way too easily. I still wanted to kill a deer with my oldest daughter, but I had not been able to take her out yet. Well that all changed one evening last week, when I took her out to the woods for an afternoon hunt, where we saw a doe cruising through at about 40yards that just would not slow down for a shot. Yesterday morning I took her out to the shooting house on the powerline that I made just to take her out in, and/or for rainy days. After about 1.5hr of waiting in the warm wind and sporadic rain showers, a yearling stepped out at 150 yards. She began saying "shoot it Daddy," but I encouraged her to be patient as a bigger one may come out behind it. Sure enough, a small doe popped out right behind the first, and Abbie and I got "our deer."

This doe ran right into the thickest stuff on the property, where we had to track the blood trail on hands and knees just to get through some of the junk. But it only ran about 70yards before it fell. This was a very good lesson for Abbie. She was excited to see the lungs and other "guts" when I field dressed it, and we managed to drag it out before the weather got real, real nasty. Field pics did not turn out too well because of the wind, rain, and poor lighting, although it was around 9 am.

I'm really looking forward to carrying my rifles with pet handloads into the woods next week, and maybe getting a bigger buck or another doe or two. So far, so good, but hopefully the best is yet to come. Then comes rabbit season...

God is so good, and I love the fall! Just remember to thank Him for allowing us to enjoy His wonderful creation that was created for His glory. Hunting is about sharing time with family and enjoying the bounty of God's wonderful blessings on us.