So ends another year of going to the great white north on the search for Bambi. Hunting in our area has really tapered off in recent years. This year was extremely mild and should have been a pretty good year, but I truly think our herd is way down. There are lots of reasons this could be, from bears and coyotes, to the reintroduced wolves and we have lots of bobcats. There have also been several sporadic reports of mountain lions, although the DNR claims that isn't possible. All I know is that we aren't seeing the amounts of deer anywhere that we used to.
Anyway, here are the good stories from this year. Uncle shot a small 3 point opening morning. This is after the lecture about hunting for larger deer to the rest of the crew. It also took 4 shots, from both my Uncle and my Dad to kill the deer. Basically, Uncle's first shot was good, but didn't hit anything vital. When he went to check on the deer, it got up and Uncle shot again, but this time hit it in the back leg and out the hind section. Uncle came to camp for help, and the tracking began. We found the deer just inside the swamp, still alive and trying to run. It couldn't go far because the front shoulder broke and the back leg already was broken by the second shot. My Dad shot the deer in what should have been a finishing shot, but again managed to miss anything vital. Fourth shot mercifully finished the kill. So, in total, more bullets than points.
My step brother brought over his kill from earlier in the day. A nice eight point which was shot from roughly 400 yards (once I might add). Very nice hunt.
Last, my cousin (Uncle's boy) shot a beautiful eight point my last day at camp. Probably the second biggest deer I've seen taken from camp in my 20 or so odd years hunting. First shot - in the rump. Luckily for my cousin, the shot broke the deer's back or we'd still be tracking it. My cousin has no patience, so he ran up to the deer, saw it still alive, and fired the killing shot then. The deer twitched, causing my cousin to shoot two more times, both shots into the deer's neck. I think he might have been a tad bit excited. Again, a beautiful deer in the end.
My Uncle, yes, the one who wanted us all taking large bucks, also missed another small spike horn that same night.
By the time I left, our camp had two deer taken, a small three point and a large eight point, with another deer left in the field. Bullets used - EIGHT. Not exactly a banner year for deer taken, however we did pass on many small bucks in the area, so there should be a good amount of large deer next year.