Persistence Pays Off

It was a long and frustrating October, with nothing to show for my hours and hours of hunting with my bow and then my muzzle loader. The weather was overall very nice and warm all month, which made it harder to find deer as they weren’t moving around much yet, but I was out there every chance I got which meant many early mornings and late evenings out and about.


Waking up early will never be fun

I had seen quite a few deer, all in the distance, much too far out of range for my bow or muzzle loader, or outside of legal hunting time, and nothing up close during legal time, so while it was frustrating, I was also optimistic that it was just a matter of putting in the time.

Neener neener!

Neener neener!

My cousin Garry had been putting in nearly the same amount of time, also with nothing to show, and he had seen a lot fewer than I had, so I knew it wasn’t just me. It’s also hard to spend that much time outdoors and not just appreciate it for what it is. There are so many great views to be had whether you see deer or not.

What's not to like?

What’s not to like?

My patience was tested pretty heavily one morning though, when I got a call from my uncle. He had dusted off his muzzle loader and gone out for his first hunt of the year, where he plopped himself into my tree stand, sat for a mere 5 minutes, and shot a nice buck. My immediate reaction of course was to ignore his message and let him drag it out himself, but of course I drove out to help him.

I had to help, he's old

I had to help, he’s old

Thinking about it now, I still can only shake my head and think “you gotta be kidding me” when I consider his luck. I still have the text message from Garry when I told him, which reads “<censored><censored>!! Are you <censored> kidding me?? <censored> guy always does that!”.


Let him pull out his own deer…*grumble grumble*

The story of October does have a happy ending though. All it took was spending some time with my lucky charm, my lovely wife Morgan. We hadn’t had many days off that overlapped yet, but towards the very end of muzzle loader season we managed to finally get out to a field and sit for an evening. I brought my muzzle loader and she brought her bow, with the plan of letting her shoot anything in bow range and myself taking anything out of her range.

Quality time

Quality time

As it turns out, this was a very good evening, and deer started walking out close to us as we neared the end of legal shooting light. Morgan spotted all of them long before I did, but none of them came within range of her bow. I lined up one deer that was walking by just within my comfortable range, pulled the trigger, missed, and watched a couple of them run away around the corner.

All was not lost though, as I sat there swearing at myself and quickly reloading my gun, in the last 2 minutes of light, she spotted another one walking towards us. It was a little spiker with a good sized body. I was definitely not going to miss this one, so I called it in closer until it was about 35 yards away, lined up the sights and pulled the trigger, and hit it. He jumped, sprinted away across a drainage ditch and disappeared into some thick scrub brush.

I lost sight of it immediately after shooting, but once again she came through. She watched exactly where it ran off, where it crossed the ditch, and where it went into the brush. She found the tiniest drops of blood on the gravel, pointed out exactly which bush it had jumped over, and put me within about 10 feet of where it had dropped dead. Ok, not bad for a rookie.


Not the most impressive rack by any means, but we hunt for food, not for trophies

We pulled it out, dressed it, and loaded it up for home. I had wet feet from wading across knee high water to get to it, but it was worth it. I hung it in the shed for a couple days, then butchered, processed, and packed it in the freezer.


Gypsy agrees, that is a nice looking backstrap

The month had its frustrations, it took me a lot of time, but in the end, with a little husband/wife teamwork we got one bagged. It was a relief to get the first one down, and took some of the pressure off, but we still have a number of tags to fill. Rifle season is open now, and the days are counting down, so there is no letting up. We will be working just as hard or harder over the next couple weeks, so wish us luck!


Delicious deer jerky!


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