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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hunting Encounters More Than You Think

Hubby took the first week of November off so we could go out each day to hunt. With our hunting tags this year we could get white tail does or bucks and mule deer bucks. We were excited to broaden our reach because last year white tail was forbidden when a large population of them died due to a midge infestation.

The first days out, we saw bucks and deer galore, and had some opportunities to harvest a couple but conditions weren't ideal so we waited. We decided to find a really nice piece of state land about an hour northwest of where we live and explored it for a couple days. The first day we got there we saw a lot of white tails so knew it could be possible to find one to bring home so we kept scouting. 

After a day of scouting we ran out of light so we came back the next day and found another area in the state land. We saw them bright and early but were too late before they ran into the very thick brush on the edge of the field. We decided to come back that afternoon and set up where we saw them enter the brush, hoping they would re-emerge. After sitting quietly in a large section of sage brush, the light was waning and I thought it was getting too dark. I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to stand up where I was so I did. I looked in my binoculars around the area to see if deer were nearby so I wouldn't scare them. This took seconds... I then put the binoculars down to turn to my left, and about 50 yards away a small doe stood there and was staring at me. She looked at me, I looked at her and then seconds later two more does tried to emerge from the brush behind her, urging her to move into the field where I was because they didn't see me, she pivoted on her heels and took the two with her back into the brush.

I was so upset with myself because the buck was with them as he was that morning and I could of just waited two more minutes and they would of came out and I had a clear close up shot of them. After a minute to think on it, I decided to crouch down again to see if maybe the buck would come out since only one deer saw me. About 2 minutes after I lied back down, I heard three grunts coming from the brush to the left of me.

My first instinct was "That sounds just like a bear".. So I got up grabbed my gun, and binoculars and headed back to the truck to meet up with my hubby. He was waiting for me just around the brush area. I told him about my encounter and he thought it might be a buck letting me know he was there so I went back half way and crouched down next to the brush to get a good view of the field. A couple minutes later I heard heavy foot prints in the brush to my left. I couldn't see anything but heard twigs cracking and leaves rustling. I told myself.. I'm done! I don't know what that is, and don't want to find out..

We decided to call it a day and come back before sunrise and see if we could see the deer before they headed into the brush for their afternoon nap. As I settled into the same spot I was in that morning, a truck kept driving past me on the road nearby. After three passes I was getting irritated because I thought he was trying to disturb my hunt. After the third pass, he rolled his window down and got my attention.

He began explaining that a grizzly bear was found in this area two days ago and that just this morning was spotted wandering around in the brush.. After I was done talking to the local land owner, I high tailed it out of there and said I'm done! What I heard the evening before was exactly what I thought it was... A BEAR.. I thought it was probably a black bear though not a grizzly so I was a bit disturbed when I heard it was a grizzly.. A very scary encounter that put me on edge the rest of the week.

The next day hubby wanted to try some Forestry land where a friend told us white tailed does are. This area is also grizzly country so I didn't want to get out of the car after my encounter. Luckily we didn't get very far until hubby and I spotted three does and he was able to get a clean shot of one of them.

While my hubby took care of the deer I stood over him, one hand holding my gun the other bear spray because I didn't know if there was any nearby and some grizzlies know when they hear gun shots that there will be a gut pile to snack on.. We rushed and drug the deer out as quickly as we could.. WOW! This was a stressful hunting week for sure. I still have my tag left and hopefully I'll decide to go back out and try to fill it before hunting season is up on November 30th. 

It's so cold here after a snow and cold weather system moved in on Monday and gave us 3 inches of snow and negative temps to add to it. It doesn't look like the cold weather will be leaving us for at least another week so not sure if I'm ready to embark the cold to find a deer. We'll see!!!!

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