Last year's season was a tough year, and this year has essentially been nonexistent. I had shoulder surgery a couple of years ago, and it now seems that the other shoulder is following suit. In short, I can't really pull my hunting bows. With great pain, I can get off a few shots, so I can hunt, but it doesn't seem like a very good idea. However, since 1964, I have only missed one opening day. (I count from the start of rifle season, because I have not always been a bow hunter.)
Therefore, I was determined to camp out and try to hunt at least a little. Happily, my grand children were eager to camp out with Papa Sam. That suited Papa Sam just fine, and Sammy Boy (Sam III - guess who he was named for!) insisted on sharing a tent with him. Little sister stayed in the tent with Daddy, and Mama even joined the party. Probably, only you grandpas know how great this was.
Opening morning was a hoot. We sat in my ground blind for a while, but do you have any idea how much a five year old can fidget and talk when he is supposed to very still? Needless to say, we saw no deer from the stand. However, we later had one walk almost all the way into our camp, despite the fact that Sammy Boy called out loudly and pointed to her. The hunt per se never developed, but boy did we have fun being in the woods. Later in the day, we went to "inspect" other stands.
Although, this has little to do with actual hunting, I enjoyed this weekend far more than many opening days that were more successful, from a hunting point of view. The little 3 year old grand daughter wasn't interested in the woods, but I had a really good opportunity to do some genuine training work with Sammy Boy. He saw numerous buck rubs, droppings, bedding sites, and literally dozens of scrapes. I was surprised at the amount of scrape activity. He is actually getting pretty good at noticing sign.
The only down side to the whole weekend was that we lost another fawn to the coyotes. Thankfully, the kids were asleep and did not hear the screams. I realize that a lot of people readily accept coyote predation as part of the way of nature, but I don't. In this area, they were imported by fox hunters who wanted more action. What's worse, they have also naturally migrated eastward. Overall, we have too many of a predator that shouldn't even be here. Our local deer population is way down as a result.
Nonetheless, it was a wonderful weekend of a grandfather spending time with his grandkids. So it was truly a "dear" opening weekend.
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"If you are twenty and aren't liberal you don't have a heart...if you're forty and not conservative you don't have a brain".....Winston Churchill Posts: 4491 | From: Gray, Ga. 31032 | Registered: Mar 2003
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-------------------- In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's there are few...So the most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner's mind...This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner. Shunryu Suzuki Posts: 15870 | From: tribes hill , new york | Registered: Jan 2008
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No deer harvest could be more fulfilling and meaningful than that Sam, well done!
-------------------- "Always feel the wind, and walk just like the leaves". ("LongBow Country"--Chad Slagle, "High, Wild, and Free"). Posts: 4157 | From: Northeast Ohio | Registered: Feb 2007
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