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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Close Call!

It was a nice day with temps in the upper 20's, so I decided to head out to the woods in hope of filling a tag or two. In certain areas of Minnesota you can buy additional management tags for antlerless only deer. I still have one!

As I was driving out to the area I wanted to hunt, I remember thinking how nice it would be to locate a food source that the deer were hitting. In the "Big Woods" of northern Mn we don't have many fields to hunt, so in my opinion this makes the hunt a lot tougher. As I approached my hunting area I noticed a few new logging roads on a few approaches heading into the wood. When I got to the area I wanted to check out I noticed a skidder parked just inside the tree line. Then I remembered what I had totally forgotten about. When loggers go in and cut down trees, they cut the very top of the tree off since they can't use them. Here was my food source that I had been hoping for. Deer love to browse on these tree tops!

I put on my snow camo, and grabbed my bow and was off! I started to follow the skidder tail through the woods. The snow on the trail was packed from the tires and was somewhat crunchy. I could see that hadn't gotten very much logged off yet as I could make out some logs laying around the next corner. So I slowed my pace down just in case.

I made it about 60 yards away from the brush pile when out from behind a tree stood a doe staring directly at me. I instantly froze. Then I noticed there were 2 other does with her. I had the wind in my favor, and I was head to toe white, so this doe really had no idea what I was. Our little staring match lasted a good 5 minutes. Meantime the other 2 does had drifted over the hill to the other side of the brush pile. The whole time I was frozen I would move my release closer to the string whenever I thought she wasn't looking. I was really hoping she would move off so I could try to sneak closer and surprise them over the hill.

Finally she saw me as no threat and moved off. I thought here is my chance to move in! Wrong! There was a 4th doe that was hiding in a low spot. They must have been trading off so the other could eat. This doe was much better at the staring game. She had me pinned for 10 minutes easy. She just stood there chewing her cud while watching me. I had my feet in a awkward position, so by this time they were falling asleep!

When she got bored with watching me, she actually started to browse in my direction. After standing still for 15 minutes I had plenty of time to look over shooting lanes and judge distances. She was going to be in a shooting lane at what I guessed to be about 43yrds. Just when her chest was about to hit the opening she just had to look at me one more time! I couldn't draw back just yet. At the first sign of her dropping her head I drew back, but in that short time she took one step and gave me a terrible quartering away shot, so I had to pass. When her head went behind a tree I tried to take a step forward. She heard that crunch of snow, and it was all over! She took the other 3 deer with her.

There were several intense moments in that 15-20 minutes. That's why I continue to bow hunt! I really wish I could go back tomorrow as I feel they would be back taking advantage of the new food source, but my family and I are heading to my parents for Christmas. I am hoping they will still be using that area when I get back. I would love to get some more meat to grind up for sticks and sausage. I am going to do my own this year, but that topic is for another time.

I hope all of you have a Safe and Merry Christmas!

Adam

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