Monthly Archives: November 2009

Deer fail to heed memo about rut beginning …

Memories can’t be mounted, but they sure can be trophies. Thank goodness this year!

The archery season will conclude without the harvest of a whitetail for this happy hunting blogger. Despite several months of planning, earmarking and guesstimating, it appears our annual trip North was a few days early.

Bush Hog

Our horse for the week

Even though reports of sizeable activity among bucks chasing does in areas only a chip shot from our Allegany County properties, the deer woods didn’t seem to explode until this morning. The last two hours on stand this morning saw several deer make their way through the woods, none fitting the parameters I set for bow hunting this year. However, each made for quality video projects with the new Kodak Zi8 (I’ll be sure to get some of the videos on here soon enough).

My father also reported seeing several bucks on hoof this morning, which leads me to think we were a few days early from having our seemingly-normal successful trip. What was different this trip? For starters, the full moon turned into a buzz kill. Without question, the deer were feeding and moving throughout the well-lit night. The moon’s gaze made it possible to travel before daybreak without the use of a flashlight – that’s how bright it was.

While no arrow was flung, the six days in New York did create several lasting memories. Those came in addition to the hours of mental decompressing from 17 feet above the ground.

Nov. 4, 2009 will go down in the annals of history as the day the first-ever bobcat was spotted on our farm. Although I’ve encountered several of the pesky furbearers on trips to the Midwest, it came as quite the shock to see this cat in our woods. Upon investigating further, there have been a handful of sightings in Western New York the last year. Clearly, they’re on the way to the area, likely in droves.

This was the fourth season in a row that a coyote or two has graced us with his presence. Three years ago, a couple coyotes were taken off the tax roll. I wish all of them were removed from our ecosystem.

These sightings became noteworthy when realizing that half of the does that showed up this year did not have fawns with them. I have never taken notes to that sort of thing, but anecdotally speaking that was a first. That makes me think the fawn mortality in our area is at a high.

The Yankees returned to greatness during this trip, something I hope can only be forgotten if they win the next 20-straight pennants.

Never short of comic relief to add value to our trip, this year’s belly buster came when Kenny fell down the stairs of camp while trying to use the bathroom at 3 a.m. The incident was only mildly funny until he confirmed he was OK. At that point, it became hilarious!

Daydreaming for next year’s bowhunting trip to NY begins tomorrow.

The Chase for Perfection

I remember it well. I was in 10th grade and we were on the road against Allegany. Although I’ve hit literally thousands of baseballs since, I don’t recall seeing a delivery any better than this one from this tall, linky hurler. I remember the feeling of ease as my 31″ Easton bat sliced through the pitch.

I’ll also never forget the jabs I took after hitting that ball deep over the centerfielder’s head and into the tennis courts beyond the outfield. Sadly, there were no fences on this field and my decision to watch the ball travel a distance my 5’6″ frame wasn’t used to seeing, led to getting thrown out trying to complete the inside-the-park homer. I knew it right away though. It was, the perfect hit.

I’m still in search of that perfect shot with my bow and arrow. I came close once – in 1999 when I was able to connect on a heavy-horned nine point. Everything about that shot felt great, but it wasn’t perfect. What needed to change? I’m not sure, but much like that swing on the baseball I think I’ll know it immediately when it happens. Perhaps it was the fact that I needed to close the deal from the seated position or the failed attempt to see where the arrow hit the deer.

In 17 years of bowhunting, though, it was the only shot that has toed the edge and flirted with perfection.

This year could be the year. The thousands of arrows (ironically, also with Easton on their barrels) launched in my backyard and basement over the course of the last five months have set it up well. The new Mathews Monster is sending arrows at faster speeds than I’ve ever had in my arsenal. Yes, this truly could be the year.