It's Good to be Back in the Whitetail Deer Woods...

Blake Hagemeier

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I sprung out of bed faster than I ever have this morning. No more than my alarm sounded, I was in the shower getting prepared for the season's first hunting trip. I had all my equipment in my truck the night before so all I had to do was take the twenty minute drive to the cut corn field edge I had planned on hunting.

I saw 5 does in the little secluded corner the morning before, while scouting, so I knew it was likely I would at least see something.
In the early season, I don't like hunting morning because of the setup in the areas I hunt. They are small blocks of timber connected by drainage ditches, fence rows, and creeks. The blocks of timber are relatively small, usually no more than 30 acres. The deer love to bed on the edges of these blocks, or even in the ditches and fence rows. They have great visibility and are right next to an abundant food source. I don't like hunting these field edges in the morning because of the risk of bumping deer when walking in, but I knew if I got there early enough I could beat the deer to the field. I was on my way to setting up my blind an hour and a half before the sun was scheduled to come up. If my plan worked as I had hoped, I would set up 30-40 yards down a fence row that jutted out from the timber. There is a little finger of willows and cat tails that is 75 yards to the south, that too juts out into the field. The deer were using the cat tails as a bedding area, then feeding across the corn field, then crossing the fence row and heading towards the big woods. I got everything set up quickly and quietly, and then the wait was on.

The Hunting Setup

After what seemed like an eternity, I could finally see a hint of color coming up over the horizon. At shortly after 6AM two does headed out of the bedding area. I immediately turned my camera on, but it was too dark to get any footage. Luckily they worked across the field slow enough I was able to get a little footage before they disappeared across the fence row. I raised my bow, but it was too dark in the blind to see my pin and I had no idea how far they were because my range finder wouldn't work. Had it been 10 minutes later I might have had a chance. Once it was light enough, I found out my depth perception in the dark was off by about 20 yards. Instead of being 30 yards down the fence row, I was just over 50. At their closest point, the does were about 35 yards away.
My few hours spent hunting this morning were great. I’m excited about the year, and feel that this is the most prepared I have ever been for a hunting season. I also have a 10 acre honey hole of acorns, but I have never hunted it before. My future father-in-law told me about this small piece of property that is about 3 miles from where I do the majority of my hunting. I plan doing some glassing in the corn field next to it on Thursday afternoon in hope of hunting it on Friday.

Posted by Blake Hagemeier under Field Journals on October 1, 06 10:00 PM | Permalink

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