Got up at 4:30 on Saturday. Dressed in MANY layers. We were at the farm and walking out to our spots by 5. And here is what my deer stand looked like.
It was dark. I sat on that black bucket with my blaze orange hat and my blaze orange vest in the crook of the tree, cradling my shot gun with the muzzle pointed off tom my right. I sat there thinking I'd stay as still and quiet as I could for the next 4 hours.
Within 15 minutes of settling in I thought I heard MBtGE starting to walk back. He was coming from my 1 o'clockNow he intended to do a slow walk from that direction at the end of the day if we hadn't gotten anything and maybe 'push' a deer in my directions. But not at the beginning of the adventure. Hmmm.
I took the safety off on my shotgun.
Whoever it was, he was still walking my direction.
Maybe this IS a deer. It can't be. I'm not this lucky.
See the yellow X on the picture? Not 15 yards from where I was sitting I saw a shadow there. It moved when I heard the steps, it stopped moving when it was quiet. If i had pulled the trigger with the gun sitting in my lap, chances are I would have hit. My heart was racing a mile a minute. I felt tingly all over.
But I couldn't tell for sure what it was. It could have been another hunter trespassing on the property. It could have been a dog. Heck it could have been a raccoon for all I know. So I didn't take the shot. I wanted to do this right. Besides, if I missed in the darkness, I'd not have another chance that day, I bet.
The shadow moseyed along behind me. I heard thumps. I heard the exhales that sounded like a bull snuffing in the bull ring. At this point I knew it was a deer, and I smiled. I kept tracking it by sound and moved along out of range at my 8 o'clock.
MBtGE told me the thumps was stamping and the breath noises was trumpeting. A warning to other deer and a challenge to other bucks.
Yes, bucks. Dang.
I didn't see another deer the rest of the morning. I heard shots all around. I was yelled at by a squirrel. A couple of squirrels practically ran over me later. A hawk showed up high in the trees and screeched for a good half hour. The squirrels left me alone while the hawk was there. All in all, a nice morning in the woods. No venison, though. Maybe next Saturday.
Other things I learned:
Bring an onion. Cut it in half and stamp on one half. Carry the other half in a pocket. It might mask your scent a bit with one that is strong, but natural and non threatening to critters
You think you dressed warm enough, but you didn't. Around 8 AM I started to get cold. My '40 Below' socks didn't even do well at 30 above. Need another set of socks And I could have used one more layer of pants. Had I had that I would have been comfortable. I didn't need, but could add later in the season, if necessary, another coat and long-john shirt to go with the t-shirt, flannel shirt, sweatshirt, and coat I had this day. Probably going to need good coveralls. Maybe warmer boots.
I used long johns instead of Underarmor because long johns cost 10 bucks.