The alarm rings at 5am! We all roll out and head to the dinning room. Breakfast is almost done and smells awesome. The cooks have put on the spread again as usual. All of us hunters grab a hot cup of coffee and watch the weather channel while we wait for breakfast to be put on the table. The morning discussion turns to how the weather is going to effect the morning hunt. The next topic of discussion is where everyone is going to hunt. Like we really need to discuss this at all, everyone goes back to the same 'ol blinds every year anyway. Then it is off to the breakfast table. Here there is little talking going on, everyone is rushing to get fed so they can get out to their blinds.
Mikey and I finish up, dad has already left, and we get our gear and head out the door. While I'm grabbing my gear out of the trailer, one of the older guys stops us to ask if we have any extra .30-06 shells! He has misplaced his and needs some asap! We get him a box of ours and then we are off.
Mikey and I outside the Lodge
The morning is cool and overcast, even though you can see a faint glimpse of the moon over head. The wind is light as Mikey and I make our trek out to the blind. The talk is minimal as we head down the two track towards the tower blind. Mikey is excited, I can tell by the anticipation in his voice. We finally get to the tower blind and I send him up the stair way after a few quick intructions. As he climbes up I set out his scent wicks. It isn't the easiest thing to do in the dark. I had to load them up with the buck lure, and a little got on my hand, man does that stink!!! I hung them up and started for my blind. I'm hunting with my camera this morning, since we are only allowed two guns in the woods at a time, club rules.
As I walk across the field to the two track, I noticed something ahead of me on the ground. It was white and moving. I've seen this before! It's a skunk! I make my way around the little bugger as he waddles out of the field. After safely passing him it is onto the two track. The woods are not exactly dark, so I don't need a flashlight to find my way. I find my turn off and head towards a new blind that I will be at for this morning. I put out my scent wicks as I got to my area and then I climbed up to the new raised blind. It was a little small, but it was nice. Actually this blind was left behind from a previous member and it was exactly like the one I was looking at, at Gander Mountain a couple of years ago. I got the windows opened and then I got all my gear situated. Just as light was breaking I saw a deer off to my left. I looked through my binoculars and saw that it was a small buck, a little spike horn. It was begining to lighten up some so I thought about grabbing the video camera. Dead battery! No problem I have two more, but the next one was dead also! The third one had some juice left in it but not much. Poor planning on my part!
My Dad and I outside the Lodge
While the little buck was still in the field I watched another deer pass across the far end of the field to my right, it was a doe. She disappeared into the swamp out in front of me. The buck browsed the field for about 20 more minutes and then headed into the same swamp in front of me. About a half hour later a doe and two little ones came out from in front of me and the spike horn was right behind them. He had his nose to the ground and made his way to the back side of the doe! She was having none of it! He chased her around and around the field for about 15 minutes. It was like watching a guy trying to pick up a girl at the bar and getting shot down over and over. I will say this, he was persistant! That was all I saw this morning. Mikey saw a lone doe feed across in front of him. Like I said it was a slow morning.
The highlight of my morning was just after I watched the deer chasing in front of me I tried to light my heater! It wouldn't light! The propane bottle was about half full on the little burner, so I swapped it out for a new one, still no fire! So I figured that the valve must be stuck, so I began to pull the valve apart and see if I could find out what the problem was. I found out how the valve worked after pulling it apart and I made darn sure that I didn't break any of the plastic pieces. Last thing I wanted was to tear up something and have absoloutly no hope of heat! I put it back together after blowing it out, still no fire! So I pull it back apart again to see if I missed something and as I put it back together this time I could hear the valve clicking! I think I've got it! So I put it back together and turn the valve, I can hear the propane hissing! I strike the match and FIRE! It wasn't like I was going to freeze to death, but it sure was good to have a little warmth.
After lunch and a nap back at camp we all headed back in to the stands. My dad sat with Mikey this evening in the little trailer blind we have in the field where I sat in the new tower blind this morning. I went to the swamp blind to try and change my luck. I figured that since the deer were not moving, they would be filtering through the swamps for cover. As I made my way over to my spot I found a new rub line! Two of the rubs were extremely fresh and big! This gave me some encouragment and hope for the evening hunt.
My Dad and Mikey outside the Lodge
I made it into the blind and got my scent wicks set out. When I got in the blind I was sweating like crazy! I had too many clothes on for the walk in. I immediately stripped down to my base layer and fired up the heater! This blind's heater has a large propane tank on it so I don't have to worry about that one running out! I got it nice and toasty in there and after about an hour I got dried out. Now it was time to hunt!
The swamp is dense and dark! It is hard to see but the deer filter through here all the time. Around 3pm I saw movement way out in front of me, I immediately grabbed the rifle and tried to pick up the movement again. It was a large bodied deer slipping through the dense cover. I kept waiting to see him come out the other side but it never came out, but then I noticed more movement and I could see a deer body through two trees. I put the scope on it and saw the head only through the dense cover. It was a doe. I watched as it slipped through the cover and that is when I saw the other one also. I still couldn't make out what it was though. Wishful thinking, I can only hope that it was a buck! They finally slipped out of sight, but at least that got the blood pumping! About an hour later I was reaching for the radio to call Mikey to check in, we do that every hour on the hour, when I started to turn the radio on I saw a deer right in front of me! It was about 15 yards away, a nice big doe just filtering through. Then came another one! I watched them for about three or four minutes then I noticed a small yearling doe coming through. They all slipped through the dense cover and out of sight. It was beginning to get dark, but I need to wait a while longer to meet up at Mikey's blind. It would be much lighter out in the field than where I was. I waited until I could barely see anything, then I made my way out. As I reached the edge of the field I busted out three deer! There was still a little light left, so I waited at the edge of the field for another 5 minutes or so. Then I made my way up to the blind they were in. Just as I got to where I could see the blind, I noticed that my dad was already out closing the windows and Mikey was wrapping up everything inside. I later find out that they saw about 11 deer and one of them was a nice 5 point! Just one point short of being a shooter!
We got back to camp and settled in for dinner and a little football on tv. Some of the guys were spending the evening at the card table playing euchre. For those of you who have never heard of that card game, it is an old favorite at deer camp here in Michigan.