Billie called to say they were heading out to the lease to blunder around and hang some stands. I haven’t had the chance to do any exploring our there so I jumped at the chance.
It was hot, muggy and sticky. I loaded up in Mikes truck and headed out. Luckily, the gate is about 7 miles from my front door, which is as close to my backdoor as I’m going to get without moving! I cranked up the radio and rolled the window down. A good afternoon all around…but it was going to get better!
I saw two beautiful does crossing the road on my way in to meet Billie and Joey. That’s exactly two more deer than I saw all season last year! So I’m already ahead of the game!
I had more fun wandering around in the woods in 98 degree weather than should be legal. I spent the entire time listening to Billie and Joey discuss box stand placement, lock-on vs. ladder stand placement. We covered a great deal of territory.
I’m still so new to all this that I spend the majority of my time around other hunters being very quiet. Which, by the way, is not my normal state! Everything is just overwhelming sometimes.
I recently confessed to Billie that last season when people would talk about how deer liked “browse”….I was CLUELESS. I thought they were saying “brows” and it made no sense. I didn’t realize what they were referencing until a class at B.O.W. I felt like such an idiot. I should have just asked someone. I’d spent months in unnecessary ignorance.
I made a NOTE TO SELF: Ask questions!
And I did! Billie, God love her, has patiently answered everything I’ve thrown her way….from asking why deer bed down in certain areas (the field we were in's tall grass helps cover their scent and hide them and the open area allows them to watch for predators) to explaining the difference between a buck rub and a scar from a bush hog.
And the big lesson of the day: Pay attention to the color of the tree your stand is in. A white oak is less favorable due to its light color. You will be more likely to be seen.
The minute Billie pointed out how light the white oak is I felt like saying “well duh!” You’d think that checking your camo vs. your tree color would be an obvious thing to do. It had never occurred to me. Hell a tree is a tree is a tree as far as I knew. I’d rather not be in a pine because they sway more, but other than that I had no preference.
I’ll be moving my stand out on the family land now, by the way!
I keep reminding myself that there is so much I don’t know. I’m not going to learn it all in one year or even five years. This is going to be a journey.
I can’t even begin to put into words how excited I am about this season. I’ll have the lease and our family land to hunt on. I’m certain my hunting experience will continue to be a comedy of errors, but I’m hopeful and optimistic about my successes as well!