It has been 5 (initially I thougt it was only 3, but I checked the date on my picture) years since I've hunted Ohio for Whitetails. I distinctly and fondly remember my last hunt there at the cabin with my family. My Uncle Dick, Cousin Chris, my second cousin and bloodbrother Kurt and myself. Just the memory of the exceptional season we had makes me feel closer to my kin. Even though times have been tough for all of us and work is more scarce, it brings me joy to think about the lightheartedness of the deer cabin.
For some reason, the years had been especially mild and the deer population boomed. The sate kept raising limits every year and still, not enough deer were being taken. The limits in this particular year I believe was 6 deer (3 archery, 3 any season tags).
When the season opened, we hit the woods hard and still hunted every creek that might hold a deer. Opening morning, both Chris and Kurt made their kills early. Mine was on the way back to the house for brunch. So, we hoisted our trophies into the meat tree while we told our stories and enjoyed pancakes and bacon. After we ate our fill and took a cat nap, we geared up for round two of day one. Kurt and I took the golf-cart to our favorite hollow and as soon as we sat down, Kurt fired, and I helped him track and drag his deer back to the golf cart. I asked him to drop me off at the top of the next hill on his way back to the meat tree. As soon as he stopped and my feet were on the dirt, I began to load the Remington 870 full of slugs. Kurt made a smart remark and we were joking loudly when I noticed something was amiss. Something was watching me. It was a good size doe... just standing there. I took two steps off the gravel to ensure absolute legality. The doe was down. And the golf cart was loaded full of deer carcasses.
On the way back to the cabin, we hit a stretch of blacktop about 200 yards long... and managed to get pulled over by the game wardens. So they asked some questions, apparently, some hunters were nearby and shot one of our neighbors dogs. We didn't have any good information to pass on to the wardens, they checked our tags and licenses as a formality and congratulated us on our harvest. Then, deer carcasses in tow, we went the rest of the way home.
I have such great memories of this season and wish that we could have many more just the same. To quote Tracy Lawrence, "the only thing that stays the same is everything changes." This is as true as I have ever witnessed anything to be.
What a great time that I enjoyed with some of my closest family.
To describe the picture of handling the muzzleloader indoors. My uncle Dick was admiring his son-in-law Chris' new muzzleloader and conveniently had it pointed much in Chris' direction. It should suffice to say that these two rarely see eye to eye, and I could not hesitate in taking a photo of such a moment. Don't worry, it was unloaded.