Hunting season opened up last Saturday the 26th here in Montana. Hubby and I were rearing to go to bring home a couple of deer this year. It's going to be a challenge more than any other year as a disease caused by infected midges have taken a toll on the white tail population in/around our area which has put restrictions on what we can get this year.
Pretty much we are limited to mule bucks as the white tail population has shrunk drastically because of the illness and will make it harder to locate any bucks of that species. On Saturday we were blessed to be able to hunt on private land. We came across 8 female mule deer. Unfortunately, unable to shoot them this year but gave me lots of practice to creep and crawl towards them. Got about 75 yards from one of them and they never knew I was there. We were hoping somewhere near them was a buck in hiding but there wasn't.
That evening we drove about 5 miles away to check out some state land that just one week earlier had 3 herds of deer there feeding. Low and behold they came back that evening but they wouldn't get any closer than 500 yrds before the sun went down. No deer on Saturday.
Sunday morning we tried to go to an area where white tail roamed abundantly but when we got there it was eery. No hunters, no deer. Last year, this same location had so many hunters in this area and so many deer and this year the total opposite. The disease took a toll on this area.
We then decided to go back to the same location as the night before to see if I could get a shot on the buck I had my eye on. To get closer this time, I had to crawl, hobble, scrunch, waddle, you name it to get through thick grass and sage to the edge of the farming field. This brought me about 250 yrds away.
Set my sights on this buck, watched him for over half an hour with my scope trained on him. It was difficult because the 7 females swarmed him often making it difficult to get a clean shot. Finally I had the opportunity and took fire. I watched him jump and they all ran off. Thinking he dropped just off the farm plot, hubby and I took our time to go locate him to no avail. I missed him.
Found out that my bullet, which was a reload, exploded in my gun and the shell broke into two pieces. Hubby believes the defect in the casing caused the force of the bullet to slow down quicker and because of that, the bullet itself dropped and landed just under the deer, causing him to feel the force of the wind underneath him and that's what scared him.
I was so disappointed.. It took me several days to come to grasp that I missed him. I really hope to go back next weekend or sometime the following week (hubby is taking a week off work, yeh!) because I REALLY want to try for him again.. He was beautiful.. We'll see where we are lead to come Saturday.... Hopefully I'll have a success story to share here..
PS. We hunt, for the meat if anyone is interested. We eat organic as much as we can but organic meat is expensive and back in 2011 we tried our hand for the first time at deer hunting and got 3 that year. It fed us for the entire year. I just had to buy chicken when needed. Last yr we only got 1 and I rationed the meat to stretch it out as many months as I could. This year we can only get 2 (one for me and one from my hubby), unless my son would like to hunt then we could potentially have three but 2 is more realistic. We pray that we are able to provide the meat necessary for our family with our two tags this year.. It will be a true blessing to our family...