It's Big Woods Time 2018

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There were a lot of antlerless deer around my in-laws place in WMU 6c this weekend.   Saturday morning, I left their house for the woods a little after 7 am.  They took pictures of three, eating the birdseed below their back deck, at 9:00 am.   All I saw in the woods that morning were lots of tracks.   That afternoon, I hunted a bit closer to the house and saw a single antlerless deer walking thru the woods at 3 pm, that never offered me good shot.   This morning, I got to my favorite late-season spot up there (about a mile away) at about 7:00 am.  Sunrise was 7:23, and at 7:45, I saw a single antlerless deer, moving slowly through the pines.  I was standing in a little clump of cover,  When she stopped, 60 yards away, I thought I had a clear shot at her front shoulder.   I centered the crosshairs on her shoulder blade and fired.  I was surprised to see her run out of the plume of smoke, along with two other antlerless deer.     

I reloaded and walked over to where she had stood, finding no blood or hair.   I followed the three sets of tracks a ways, finding no blood in the powdery snow.  Returning to the spot where I had fired, I noted a branch in the path of the bullet, with a cut across the top where the bullet must have struck, probably deflecting it away from the intended target.   About 15 minutes later, another antlerless deer approached, but never offered an "extremely" clear shot, so I passed.   I know this area pretty good, having hunted it for the last 7 years  After a couple more hours, I circled around, and still-hunted into the wind, thru the area where they usually bed.   I jumped (4) antlerless deer up there (a group of (3) and a single). Each one appeared perfectly healthy, and none offered a good shot.   I am fairly certain that the doe I missed was the leader of the group that had been feeding at my in-laws house. 

That was my last hunt up there for the year.  At least the in-laws will still have the entertainment of watching the deer clean up the spilled birdseed below their deck this winter.   I will have to try and fill my muzzleloader tag back here in the southern zone next weekend.  This was the first of (4) trips up there this season where I did not see any sign of an antlered deer.   There were some nice fresh scrapes on my last (3) trips.   Surely, with all those doe around, there should be more next year.   I have the opposite problem at home, where almost all the deer I see have antlers.  Even the one I thought was a doe, turned out to be a bb when I walked up to the carcass to gut it.    Fortunately,  I will have another tag for "antlered" ones, once ML season opens up here next weekend.         

Edited by wolc123
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