Somewhere between 70-80 sits. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours spent scouting, shed hunting, hanging stands and trail cameras, and hunting. The amount of work that went into harvesting my first North Dakota whitetail since moving here before last hunting season is crazy, but is all worth it in the end. This past Friday, December 9th, I had quite the epic hunt, and was able to finally seal the deal on a mature buck here in North Dakota.
As I sit here and type this journal post, I can hear the wind thundering outside my bedroom window, and I look out to a completely different view than I did just a day ago. Not more than 24 hours ago where I live here in North Dakota, we didn't have a speck of snow, and now there is over ten inches on the ground, and the temperatures are plummeting, and will continue to plummet throughout the week. Winter is here, and with the conditions present, deer will be harshly snapped into that reality as well. Nothing is more important now than one thing -
Honestly, this journal post is not going to be an easy one for me to put together. This year has been one of the toughest deer seasons I have endured as far as the amount of work I have put into it dating back to last spring, compared to the number of mature buck encounters I've had. With that said, the last week or so of hunting has been pretty decent, with it producing multiple mature buck encounters, and I finally got a shot at one.
A lot has happened in the whitetail woods since checking in with the last journal post. If you've been following along with us here at WhitetailDNA, you've probably noticed a lack of content in the last week or so. Most of that is attributed to spending day after day in a tree, and if I'm not in a tree, I'm in school for bits and pieces of the day. For about the last week, there has been a serious uptick in deer movement, and I was literally minutes away from having a chance to put down what would have probably been my biggest buck to date.
Can you feel it? Do you get those goosebumps on your arm looking at the calendar yet? I know I sure do, because THE RUT is right around the corner. You can almost see it, it's so close. This last week has been utterly slow for me, but I have a hunch (hopefully) that it won't be long until the woods heats up with deer activity.
I love deer hunting. It doesn't always have to be a big buck to get my heart rate up, shooting a doe can be just as fun. Especially an old warrior of a doe that has outsmarted hunters for years. I was fortunate enough to be able to harvest my first deer of the season this past weekend, and boy let me tell you, I was pumped!
Last week's journal post chronicled my dilemma that I was having with what buck to focus my hunting efforts on. Well, not much has changed since, but I have started do make strides on my decision of what I'm going to do going forward. I have done a few things differently, which hopefully end up with me putting my tag on a mature North Dakota whitetail.
Over the last week, I've had quite the dilemma. I touched on it a bit with my last blog post, but I wanted to dive into this "issue" a little bit deeper with this journal post. I'm currently in a bit of a rut deciding where to hunt every time I go out and I know I'm not the only one who's ever experienced this issue.
Opening weekend has come and gone with no buck on the ground. How did the first couple days of my 2016 season go? To say the least, not as planned. Not as I planned one bit. Actually things couldn't have gone much worse when it came to my plans on hunting spots to go after a few different mature bucks I was targeting. But, with my plans not going smoothly, I did a little hunting on the fly, and still had a productive first couple days...
2 days. Let me say that again. TWO DAYS. That's how soon it will be until I'm sitting in a treestand, chasing whitetails again. I think it just hit me the other day with how quick it is coming up. When you are so close to the best time of the year, it can be extremely exciting, nerve racking, exhausting, you name it. These last few days are becoming frantic for me as I am trying to get all of my final prep work done before I hit the stand Friday.
Deer hunting is a serious thing. In fact, we take it so serious, doesn't it seem crazy sometimes? This past weekend, I had moments where I felt like I had been defeated by deer, and moments where my excitement level was booming through the roof. Want to know what's even crazier? It's August 24th! Deer season hasn't even started yet, and I'm already experiencing the roller coaster of emotion that comes with it. I was hit with a fair amount of adversity this weekend (we all experience it throughout the season) and how you deal with adversity can play a large role in your success, and how much fun you have while chasing big mature bucks.
I am going to start unveiling a new series that I call my journal posts. These journal posts are going to chronicle what I am doing at that time of year and the major ups and downs that come with hunting mature bucks. I am going to bring the biggest of ups, but also the lowest of lows. Be prepared, as with the nature of chasing mature bucks, there will most likely be more lows than there will be highs.