In 1994, I had a special permit to take one antlerless deer in the McClintic Wildlife Management Area in Mason County. I was able to get a very large doe at about one hour after sunrise.
I was really working up a good sweat when I was dragging this deer back to my vehicle through the marshes and multiflora rose. I was also asking myself this simple question: "Am I getting too old for this nonsense?"
In 2001, I got a large buck on a warm Thanksgiving afternoon. While I was dragging this deer, I was asking myself the same question. This past Monday at about 9:30 a.m., I was dragging a nice eight point along Stalnaker Run Road and once again asking myself this same question.
I cannot argue with the fact that when you squeeze that trigger and down the deer, the fun, or play as my wife often calls it, is over. Now it is time for the work to begin if you expect to keep the deer you have just shot.
Like last year, I was able to get the deer to my garage with the help of another one of my neighbors who happened to come along riding an ATV. When I got the deer into the garage, I was nearly exhausted and sweating from head to foot.
Just before noon, I got the deer to Bill Cole's for processing. The field- dressed deer weighed 120 pounds. My only reply was that the deer felt a lot heavier than that.
I did not purchase a second buck stamp, so buck gun season is over for me this year. I still have an antlerless permit and stamp for one of the WMA's in Lewis County and hopefully will be trying to use it in the near future.
Right now, I think that it is past time to find an easier way to get a deer out of the woods, especially at my age. I have looked at a few wheeled deer transporters. These things really seem like a lot of additional weight for a hunter to have to carry. For me, the rifle and other standard gear are heavy enough. While I do not mind any additional walking, I just do not like the idea of leaving a field-dressed and tagged deer in the woods for somebody else to come along and claim while I am going after such a device.
We all know when there is 1 or 2 inches of snow on the ground a deer drag is somewhat easier, especially on downhill or level terrain. The weather for the first four days of buck season has been unseasonably warm, but it looks like the second week will be seasonable.
I have talked to a few of my hunting friends about their luck this season. One person I have known for more than 35 years got a eight-point buck in the national forest near Whitmer. He plans on getting it mounted because it is the biggest deer he has taken in over 15 years. Several other friends have told me they are not seeing the number of deer being checked like they have in the past. I know that I have not seen the number of out-of-state hunters like I usually do. I have not talked to any of the DNR personnel this week nor have I heard anything on the news about the buck harvest for this year.
However, there has to be plenty of bucks out there, and hunters have another week to bag that great deer with antlers.
I hope all my readers had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.