It was opening day of rifle season here in South Georgia this past Saturday and I woke to a chilly and clear morning. I had gathered all of my stuff together the night before as I listened to our local high school football game. (We won a good one by the way) I shot out of bed with all the enthusiasm that opening day brings and quickly got dressed a full half hour before my Dad was to pick me up. I turned on Sports Center and started thinking about where I wanted to hunt. The wind was right for a number of different locations, but I kept coming back to one stand in particular. "The New Spot".
I have been preparing this spot for a few weeks now and was very excited about hunting there. I just couldn't wait to see how the deer were going to move in this area and from which direction they would come. I'm still waiting! I got skunked! I did see ten turkeys and my Dad saw three deer not 500 yards from me moving in my direction, but either they slipped by me or changed course on the way. The only deer I saw on Saturday morning was on the way to the truck. A doe and yearling crossed the road about 100 yards ahead of me. Isn't it funny how sometimes when we want something to work SO much that God reminds us that he is still in control. I know what he is doing to me. He is trying to teach me some patience, which he did not bless me with much to start with!! It was still a good morning and I was excited about the fact that one of the three deer that Daddy saw was a nice 8 point.
When we returned home I told Daddy that we would have the little man for the afternoon hunt. I knew that I would have some explaining to do when I walked in the door wearing all of my hunting gear. Luckily, the wife had the kids up town for some errands so I dodged the bullet momentarily. I got changed and grabbed my cell phone to turn it on for the day. I found that I had 4 new voice mails. I was a little worried as I punched in my code to retrieve my messages. They were all from my son. They started at 7:00 am and went until about 8:30. All four messages went just about the same way- "Daddy, this is Reid. You left me! I thought we were going hunting today! Call me back!" Now Reid is not old enough to make morning hunts yet, he is only seven, but you can bet your life that he was in the truck for the afternoon.
I decided to hunt an old faithful stand in the afternoon and Daddy took Reid with him to the double stand that we have set up for that purpose. My stand is now in the middle of a clear cut, as they cut the timber last year. We have a long food plot that runs from a bottom all the way to the stand. I have seen as many as 27 deer at one time sitting on this stand. This afternoon was not a disappointment. I saw 9 deer including one 6 point and one nice 8 point. The two bucks sparred back and forth with each other for the better part of an hour. The 8 point was about three inches outside of his ears, but his tine length was only about 6 inches. He is a borderline shooter and I had my mind made up that I wanted to take something bigger than I already have on the wall. Daddy went back Sunday evening and saw the same deer off of the same stand. He said that he thought it was a mature deer and that I might should have taken him. Now I'm having regrets. I might should have shot him, but he was 200 yards away and I worry about ground shrinkage. I don't want to pile up what I think is a good deer only to get my hands on him and wish I would have give him another year. I'm sure he will be back and maybe I can get a better look at him from a closer distance before I take my shot!
Reid sat with Daddy Saturday afternoon and had a few mishaps like dropping his snack to the ground and even dropping his entire back pack that Daddy said hit every rail on the ladder on the way down. But they saw some deer despite all of the noise including a spike and another nice 8 point. Daddy said he was a pretty good one with high G-2's but had smaller crab claws on each end. He let him go. Reid was excited that he got to see deer and is already asking to go back. He is pretty good luck as the last two times that he has been in that stand I have killed an 8 point and Daddy could have killed one!
I'm gonna have to rig up a separate seat for him in the "New Spot"!!