Tagging Out On Determination

Determination is part of hunting. You’re reading about my hunting experience for the the 2012 WI gun deer season. The season opened November 17 and closed November 25. Although I didn’t get a deer yet this season… I had fun hunting and gained one more year of hunting experience.

Furthermore, each year I hunt, I come to conclusions for my love of hunting and being outdoors. I realize just how deep my passion for hunting resides.

My plan each day was this:

  • get in the woods before light
  • sit until midmorning
  • scout around and still-hunt the afternoon
  • return to a separate spot to sit until dark

 

 

As I walked out of the public deer woods and back to my car each day during the 2012 gun deer season, I asked myself, “Will I get a deer?” Thoughts of frustration entered my mind as I was walking out of the woods without a deer.

Yet, each day I was anxious for the next time I would come back to the deer woods.

And sure enough, the next morning, I’d be just as excited and optimistic of my chances seeing deer as I was the morning of the season opener.

Morning of Day 4 of the 2012 gun deer opener was a foggy one.

It’s exhilarating when you find a prospective spot and see deer sign such as droppings, rubs, trails, and beddings.

During one of my hunts, I confirmed that I enjoy deer hunting for the challenge and that’s what keeps me coming back.

The challenge may be going through thick brush and heavy cover in order to explore a new area. I went through thick cattails because I felt deer were in there, and I found sign leading to this marsh that I had not explored yet.  Always be scouting around, even in season.

Followed this deer trail through the cattails, doing so also led me to a prospective spot I’ll try late season.

When scouting, pay attention to the ground in order to find good deer sign. This may sound obvious, yet it’s worth mentioning ‘cus it’s easy to overlook deer droppings, and finding deer droppings allows you to learn how to age them.

Most importantly, finding good deer sign rejuvenates yourself by giving you a positive feeling that deer are indeed in the area.  Much of hunting is about a positive attitude. This will keep you going no matter how frustrating the hunt seems.

Because I wasn’t seeing deer, I was reminding myself each day that “just being out in the woods gives me a significant chance at tagging a deer”. It’s this attitude that kept me coming back to the woods and scouting around.

For me, it was frustrating to not see any deer even though I found great deer sign. Not seeing deer teaches me a cool cool thing about hunting: you don’t need to get the animal you’re after to have fun. You can take away other things about yourself, and the memories you make with friends and family.

Found a good size deer bed after kicking up deer in a marsh.

You also prove to yourself qualities you may not have thought you had, and even build on the qualities you know you do have. You are improving your hunting skills, and are able to utilize the gear you’ve spent money on.

One of the things I found was a new way to carry my deer seat in the woods that lets me travel lighter, stealthier, and, if a deer presented a shot opportunity while walking to my spot, this newfound way would give me a more comfortable shot.

In the end, I’m able to look ahead to remind myself I still have an archery tag through January 6 and there is a second WI gun deer season in the CWD Units over Christmas. I was able to look for additional spots to sit during these two seasons and there’s still hope to get a deer. It will happen by taking a positive attitude.

Because I work for Sportsman Channel I feel I should be tagging out every year on deer, limiting out on fish each adventure out there. It’s when I start feeling this pressure I remind myself of this simple thought: if I am able to get out in the woods, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy walking in public land, than I am experiencing being an American Sportsman. And this alone is a blessing.

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