I am pumped. Absolutely pumped.
Now there are obvious reasons to be excited for my first archery season which is only six weeks from beginning. But before we get to what caused me to throw a silent fist pump in the air, let me check you up on the last couple weeks.
My 20 yard groupings have continued to get better. I increased the draw weight on my bow. I started at only about 55 pounds as I was just beginning to learn to shoot, and now have to it at about 65 pounds. I went into the local pro shop and found out that it was actually a really simple thing to do. I also had them replace a fletching that I shot a hole through. I moved back and started shooting rounds at 30 yards. One small sight adjustment put two of my next four arrows within two inches of the bullseye. Felt pretty good about myself.
Getting to the more exciting stuff…
Last time I wrote and asked advice on approaching new public lands to hunt. One reader responded with encouragement to get in there and learn the area and scout for signs of other hunters. Along with that advice, he advised me to seek out travel corridors between bedding areas and food sources. So yesterday morning, that is exactly what I went out and did.
Using a plat book and Google Earth, I really zoned in on a spot that I thought would be a natural funnel along some power lines through the woods that cut through a very narrow slice of land between a pond and a marsh. Hiking in to that spot and climbing to slightly higher ground just off the the power lines clearing, I located a nice deer trail. Heading another twenty yards in on the backside, I found an awesome deer trail along the edge of the thick marsh. I picked a tree and then decided to pace off some the distances between that tree and the two deer trails. Just as I started pacing, I startled a deer coming in at about 25 yards on the upwind trail on the marsh side. The deer bound a few yards away and then continued to clear its nostrils several times over the next couple minutes. I only caught the sight of some brown so I do not know if it was a buck or doe. After a few silent minutes, I snuck out of there walking away throwing a silent fist pump in the air. Seeing a deer traveling through that funnel at 8:30 a.m. has got me excited.
So a few questions for you with more experience. I think it is best to stay out of that spot for a week or two to avoid spooking deer too much. Is it worth putting a trail camera in there? It is public land, and I did notice some human traffic through the area and am concerned about theft. Also under the same circumstances, when would you hang a stand in there? I found three locations in the parcel and am curious as to what those of you with more experience would do.
Closing thoughts… this week has been one of the hardest we’ve had as tragedy has struck loved ones. It has been a week of much reflection on purpose, priorities, and relationships. Though destruction can be devastating, sometimes it gives us a clearer picture of what’s important and who’s important. This is the first time I’ve given any advice in this series, so please take to heart, make some time to reflect on your life, pull your loved ones in a little closer, and say I love you to all who need to hear it.