"You can hunt a long time in the wrong place!" "Some of the best spots are overlooked!" You may have heard these sayings. However, have you heard? "You see more Bucks when you're not hunting!" You only need to talk to a few old timers to hear all the anecdotal evidence that; deer know when the season starts and in fact they know what weapon you have in your hand. If you have a bow and arrow and can comfortably shoot 50 yards, you will see a monarch bull elk at 80 yards plus. If you have a muzzleloader that will reach 125 yards, the Bench-leg 5 point buck will be at 200. Deer are everywhere during Elk Season and visa versa. I once saw a small deer that seemed to pose in front of me. From my downwind vantage point I watched as he moved a little and posed again. I was enjoying the show but noticed he moved like a small buck. I merely thought about bringing my binoculars up to check for horns, as visible antlers were all that were necessary in those days. His ears shot back and he bolted as if I had thrown a rock at him. Can you recall feeling the hair on the back of your neck stand up, only to turn around to see someone staring at you? It would only follow that a deer must have a keen sixth sense and feel those strong predator vibes emanating from us when we are thinking about shooting him. So I try to clear my mind of all thoughts related to hunting and especially, not dwell on the chore of gutting or skinning the carcass. Think of how beautiful the day is and how lucky we are to live in America.
This year I hunted in four different areas for deer and elk for a total of 18 days. I begrudgingly took Thanksgiving off, and often found myself looking longingly out the window as the day passed. After all those clear moonlit nights, it was perfect weather for hunting as the sky was darkening early with an hour of legal hunting left and it had begun to rain. My lovely wife Ruth, called from the kitchen, " I think the turkey is about done." At that moment hunting was the furthest thing from my mind. Walking into the kitchen to see if I could help, I glanced out the window and noticed deer in the lower field. I opened the gun safe and was out the front door and around the house in a flash. " Kapow!". I had a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day and although not hunting, had just bagged my first trophy Blacktail (Unit 564*). Had I been hunting in the wrong place? Was this one of those best spots that I had overlooked? Maybe, but I think you see more and in this case better Bucks when you are not hunting.
*Unit 564 in Washington State is firearm restricted. Check your game laws and always ask permission before entering private land.