Deer Seaon 1999

 

Another deer season falls in to the history books. It will go down as one of the warmest seasons I have ever hunted.

 

Daytime highs in the 60ís did not prove conducive to keeping the deer moving. Like me, they must have longed for a nap in the sun.

 

It was our first season at the farm my brother purchased in north Missouri. We had no idea what to expect. Of course we had done quite a bit of scouting and had been on the property almost every weekend since it was purchased. Deer sightings were pretty regular but seldom in the same place.

 

Then the dust bowl of 1999 set in. The trails died and you could not even chisel a fake track into the dirt. That was a big help.

 

We had intentionally waited to put up tree stands until just a couple of weeks before season so that we could try and find a pattern to deer travels.

 

Five stands were built for 4 hunters and 3 of these stands were built mostly on gut feeling. One stand was built in the creek bottom, and we expected it to produce very well but never even saw a deer.

 

The stand I sat in opening morning was one of the gut feeling stands. It just looked right. One slight problem that neither my brother nor I gave much thought to where the sun would be.

 

The sun was right in my face and with a little fog added in to the equation, visibility in the direction I wanted to watch was non-existent.

 

The first buck I should have had, snorted at me while the sun was behind him. I recognized the sound but saw nothing. Nothing that is until he was about 100 yards away and moving about 90 mph. Thatís when he had moved far enough to the north that the sun was out of my face.

 

The second buck I should have had saw me at the same time I spotted him. He was behind me, which put me in full sun. With the slightest movement of my rifle, he was history.

 

I did finally get a buck later that morning after I had left the stand, a beautiful shot again thanks to my faithful 243. The deer was moving rapidly through the timber at about 150 yards. He is not a wall hanger but the biggest bodied buck I have ever killed. He fell 30 feet from a lane we had cut with the brush hog, no dragging this time. The entire season was too warm but we ended up with 4 deer including 1 my brother took in the January extension.

 

We knew that learning the patterns on this piece of property would be a challenge. Not knowing how much hunting pressure there would be in the area only compounded the challenge. Hunting pressure was not heavy enough to keep the deer moving. If we happened to spook one off of the property, it was history. No reason to come back anytime soon.

 

The highlight of the season was a phone call I received on the 3rd day of the season.

 

My dad and brother stayed through Monday of opening weekend. Dad called on Monday night and sounded like he had just killed his first deer. He had popped a small doe as she crossed the bean field at over 200 yards.

 

Given his track record, this was an excellent shot and no doubt the longest shot he had ever made. I think he was most excited because no one pushed the deer out there for him. He spotted her and made the shot all on his own. The past few years my brother and I have pushed deer to him or sat with him and helped him watch. Maybe this will keep him going with us just a few more years. He will be 66 in March.

 

We will spend the summer working on the property clearing some locust trees, planting some clover and food plots. Oh yeah, and changing the position of the stand I sat in.

 

Bill


Back to CenterFire Central

Last Modified: January 3, 2012