A View From Above

February 19, 2009 by  

By PJ Maguire

A morning in the deer blind is as much of a tradition as it is hunting.

A morning in the deer blind is as much of a tradition as it is hunting.

The Old Man would say that I have never deer hunted, simply because I have never harvested a deer. It didn’t matter how many hours I had walked slowly through the woods, or sat in a tree above the forest. Which to this point in of time in my life hasn’t been that much.

My father is not a deer hunter, and I have only held a tag three years. I deer hunt to amuse and spend time with my hunting buddies. So on Saturday of the opening weekend of deer season, I climbed the stairs of my friend Frank’s deer hut, to take in the morning with him.

What a cold and spectacular morning it was. Frank had the heater running and the frost scrapped from the windows by the time I joined him in the enclosure. In the hut there is enough room to easily fit two hunters on movable swivel chairs. Frank is a gentleman for allowing me to join him.

This is my kind of deer hunting; hot coffee, homemade cookies, sandwiches and the radio. The only thing missing from the morning was the appearance of Whitetails. We did see a few does at a distance, and had one small fork-horn buck walk by with-in 100 yards. Both Frank and I decided to pass on the small buck, there had been two nice ones spotted the previous evening.

A rooster pheasant flushed, then flew by us level with the hut not more than twenty yards away. Throughout the morning I noticed a few of his comrades hopping in the grass and walking along the cut cornfield. It amazes me how many more birds you see when you are hunting mammals.

Tree stands leave you at the mercy of Mother Nature

Tree stands leave you at the mercy of Mother Nature

Throughout the morning I could see my friend Nick sitting in a tree-stand in the distance. It was a toe-numbing cold outside, and I am sure he was cold while I was peeling layers in Frank’s hut. It was like hunting from an ice house in the sky.

One problem with two people hunting together under comfortable circumstances is the lack of awareness due to communication. Although it would seem that we could not miss a beat on the ground from our vantage point; while deep in conversation I did not pay the best attention to the landscape.

Over the weekend I read an article about how much time and money most deer hunters spend to hunt deer. I have made very little monetary contributions to propel my deer hunting. The only things I have spent money on are: tags, a 2xl blaze orange cover jacket, gas and a single box of 30/30 rounds.

I have not shot a deer yet; therefore I have not incurred the costs that are involved in the processing processes. I have however helped one of my college roommates skin a buck at our Frat House on the University of North Dakota campus. Fresh back-straps are unbelievable.

The opportunity to harvest a Whitetail has presented itself to me in the past. The first time I ever fired a high-powered rifle was at a nice buck on the run. I missed, but at least I did not catch the scope in my eye.

To this day I still hunt with the borrowed 30/30, and I have only fired a handful of rounds. Although after this past weekend my friend Jay has me convinced I need to buy my own rifle.

In the off season I spend my time scouting for waterfowl or practicing my goose call, not checking trail cameras and searching for deer sign. That does not mean that in the future I will not devote more time to the pursuit of Whitetails. A few dedicated bow hunters have told me that at my age, they mainly hunted ducks.

When Doug Leier’s Outdoors Live radio show ended at noon, Frank and I decided it was time to pick Nick up at his stand and go to lunch. The rest of the weekend my buddies and I chased pheasants. Once again another year passes with me not filling my tag. No worries, I will have the chance to view a sunrise for above ground next year.


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