Waterfowl season started out with some above average early hunting, but the temperatures averaged over 70 degrees, which created hit or miss hunting.
The water conditions in Henry County have been as dry as we have seen in over 20 years. Many members have been used to the close drive to Henry County and were not willing to make the drive to our wetlands in the north zone, but still enjoyed some decent hunting on the water that was available.
Last weeks abrupt cold front froze the wetlands in both the middle and north zones, but some of the best mallard hunting is yet to come for the dedicated hunter with the decoys and gear to make it happen.
Scouting for open water and fields the geese are using will be up to the hunters from now till the end of the season. Good luck and be careful with the ice and water that is over chest wader in depth.
A nice buck harvested by a deer hunter member that put over 15 days on stand to harvest the class of animal he was after.
The Story of Trenton Dorf’s Day Off
It all started in January 2006. My Dad and I went doe hunting. We saw plenty of deer but we didn’t get any, and I was very disappointed. So as the next season got closer we got our licenses and practiced shooting our rifles. The rifle I was going to use was a Remington model 81 in .300 Savage and my Dad was going to use a Remington model 8 in .35 Remington.
But there was a problem. Opening day was Wednesday, November 29, 2006. It was a school day. My dad and I had to persuade my Mom to let me out of school to go hunting. She said no at first but she finally gave in and let me go. But I had to write this essay about the day's hunt.
Finally, the day arrived. We got up early and drove to our hunting spot but we were running a little late and didn’t get there until 7:00 am. While we were walking into the property we saw one deer running away. It had just stopped raining and it was very dark, cloudy and windy. The temperature was about 45 degrees and dropping. We found a spot in a small valley out of the wind and in the trees. We sat on the ground behind a fallen tree. We could see everything below us and up and down the valley. It was around 7:15 when we got to the hunting spot.
The wind was blowing so hard in the trees above us that we didn't hear the deer that appeared out of no where about 50 minutes later. My Dad saw it first and nudged me and pointed toward the deer. He got out his binoculars to see if it was a buck or a doe and how big it was. He said it was a six point buck and I could shoot it if I wanted to.
The buck was about seventy five yards away and was walking from our left to our right. When the deer became directly in front of us it turned its head and looked straight at us. You could tell that he was trying to smell the air and that something was wrong. After a few seconds the buck must have decided there wasn't any danger and turned to his right and slowly started walking toward us. I was getting my shooting stick and rifle ready and was read to shoot when he was about forty yards away.
While I was sitting there about to shoot this deer I was amazed that I could actually get this close and it hadn’t noticed or smelled us. Everything was automatic, putting the rifle up to my shoulder, making sure the shooting stick was just right, but I was still so amazed by this animal that I wasn't looking down the sights. I realized this and focused on sighting the rifle.
I was just ready to shoot when it walked behind a tree and stopped for a few seconds. I remained ready to shoot because I knew that he would step out from behind the tree. When he did he walked slowly up the hill. I took careful aim at his shoulder and without thinking I squeezed the trigger. It was still dark enough that for a split second all I could see was the muzzle blast. Then I saw him start to run at a sprint diagonally away from us up the hill. He got about halfway up the hill when he ran into a tree and he fell backwards down the hill. He got up once and took a few steps, but it was the end.
When he was still and everything was quite I realized I was breathing heavy and was excited that I finally got a buck. This was my first buck and my first deer. We waited a few minutes there to make sure no other deer were following that buck then walked to the deer and looked him over. Now the real work began. My Dad showed me how to field dress the deer and we dragged it back to the Jeep.
Today was a great day. A great hunting day. But even if it had been a bad day, it would have been better than a day of school!
Thank you Trenton for the great hunting account and pictures.
All that deer hunt would like to believe they could be career trophy whitetail deer hunters. The reality of time limitation and that for most of us we have far greater diversity of life activities other than dedication to trophy deer hunting, leaves us to enjoy the deer hunt itself regardless of any trophy evaluation. MAHA offers deer hunting for those that enjoy deer hunting to include doe harvest for freezer meat. We would hope everyone would tag a trophy at some point in their life and always enjoy the hunt each season.
I didn't have much to work with on this particular day, early in the season, but was fortunate to scratch a limit. Everything looked real good. With this good cold front up north it should push some new ducks our way.