By ROGER WILLIAMS, SWT Outdoors
I picked up the grandkids and their father and we headed for the woods at 5:30 a.m.
The boys were fully camouflaged. They each wore several layers of clothing and a blaze orange hat and vest. They had been excited the night before in anticipation of this second annual deer hunt on the first Saturday during the season when a doe could be taken.
When we arrived at our preferred site, the oldest boy went into the woods to stalk with his father and the youngest chose to sit with his paw-paw in a ground stand overlooking a pipeline used by the deer as they crossed from feeding areas to bedding areas.
We were well supplied with an assortment of deer calls. Tyler became quite proficient with two different “grunt calls” and a “can bleat” call while we waited.
Soon after we sat down, a deer entered the pipeline on a far hill and began to nibble the grass as it crossed into the woods in front of us. I carried my Marlin 336 C 30/30, in the hope that one of the boys would be able to take a shot at a nice plump doe for the freezer. Tyler asked if I planned to shoot at the deer and I explained the distance was too great for the weapon we carried.
He soon became bored with the inactivity and wanted to explore around our stand. I pointed out the deer trails entering the pipeline and the different types of deer scat evident on the ground. The pebble-looking scat is from a doe and the clumped scat is probably from a buck. He absorbed this mind-boggling information and with a grin then asked how long it took me to learn this bit of deer lore?
I was able to show him a fairly fresh scrape and an area the deer had pawed as they traveled through on their nightly jaunts.
I explained that these markings as well as scent markers on tree rubs were made to entice female deer to hang around to meet a possible buck boyfriend.
After we returned to the ground stand we saw another doe enter the pipeline a little closer than the other one had been. I shot at this big doe, off-hand, and missed.
”Paw-Paw I think I could have hit that one,” Tyler said.
At about mid-day we allowed the boys to shoot the 30/30 at targets set against the bank before we started home. They were surprisingly accurate on their first attempts with a high powered rifle.
We did not harvest a doe as we had planned but I think the boys enjoyed our outing. I know I sure did.
Pass on your knowledge and enjoy the company of your kids and grandkids in the mountains nearby.