I have been hearing from some of my close friends and fans as to where my hunting journal from 2011 is. I apologize to all that this did not come sooner due to increased activities at work and home.
This journal will entail what I experienced this season and will explain the true Reason for the Season.
This deer season started out slow for me due to other responsibilities and was not able to make it out to the field until the week before rifle season for a bit of bow hunting. Although I did not have a chance to harvest a deer during that part of the season there is one that stands out in my mind. Ryan Pierceall. I have known Ryan all his life and throughout the years I have seen him become not only a good hunter but a GREAT hunter as you can see by the photo I have attached of his early season bow harvest. The reason I mention this is because Ryan is part of the 3rd generation of hunters that I spend hunting season with each year. I will get more into that subject later on in this journal, now on to the season.
As we all know, rifle season was a difficult time for most out in the field. With high winds and high temps the deer were not going to move like a normal season when the temps would be much cooler. I sat in the stand for 2 days during the first weekend and never had the opportunity to harvest anything of size. The little bucks were running crazy with the small does as the biggest one I saw that weekend was a very small 6 pointer. As duties escalated at work I was not able to take any real time off until this muzzle loader season that opened on December 17th.
I awoke that morning with the anticipation of seeing lots of deer movement in the woods due to the cooler temps and hopes that the elusive second rut has begun. After slamming my 5 hour energy for the morning I told Greg to hop in and we drove to the area where we would be hunting that day. The temp was 26 degrees and the wind out of the southwest. That morning there were many deer come by me and finally had a shot on a nice doe. Once I had shot her, she circled around and dropped right by the fence. Man what luck, I didnít even have to drag it far. Under the fence and in the truck, cannot get any better than that. I hunted until 10am that day I hopes of seeing a decent buck but never did.
The second day started out the basically the same as Greg and I forged out back to the place we were going to hunt. Once again it was nice and cool with a temp around 28. As I sat in the stand waiting for the first sign of movement, I noticed 4 does crossing the fence behind me. I hoped that one would come my way for another harvest but they stayed behind the thick brush as they moved down to the bedding area that was located behind me. Within a few minutes I noticed a small buck that had managed to get within 20 yards of my stand. I can only figure that he crossed the fence and came in on me from behind the big oaks that filled the area I hunted. As I kept an eye on him his movements became suspicious of other activity in the woods. He kept looking at something that was to my right and behind me. Then I got a look at what he was seeing. It was a nice buck coming in. Not huge by no means but a nice buck. He was coming in with his head down and ears pinned back and the hair on his body was standing on end. He did not like what he saw when he spotted the other buck next to me. The next thing I know is that both were bristled up and circling each other getting ready to fight for the territory. What a scene. I turned and set the scope on the bigger of the 2 and anticipated whether I should let him pass or go ahead and take him. Well as you can see by the photo, I took him. 2011 season turned out good, 1 buck and 1 doe. Plenty for the freezer!
Now on to what I had mentioned earlier about the Reason for the Season. As I said Ryan is the 3rd generation of hunters that I am privileged to share camp with and the hunting season. The 1st generation starts with Tony Pierceall and I know that there were others up there before but remember this is from my point of view. Tony has had a love of deer hunting for a long time and has instilled this in his sonís. Gary, Eddie and Greg Pierceall. The 2nd generation. All of these guys have hunted all their lives and have taught their sonís how to hunt and the importance of bringing family together at this time. This is why I say the Reason for the Season. The Reason is that it is a time for Family and Friends. Yes we all want a huge buck that we can show everyone but that is just a bonus. What it is all about is getting together each season and talking about our plans for the current season and to reminisce about the seasonís past, making memories that last all our lives that we will talk about for years to come. I know this is a journal but there will be a few folks from camp that read this, so here I go. I would like to Thank Tony Pierceall for letting me walk in through the field this season. You have no idea how much I appreciate that gesture. I will never forget it. Gary, Eddie and Greg, I Thank you for your hospitality and friendship for the past 30 years. The 3 of you have done things for me in the past few years that no one else has and I Greatly appreciate every bit of it. John Asbury, you were part of that also and I appreciate and Thank you for everything. I would like to say a huge Thanks to Randy Wolfe because without his generosity and kindness I would not have a place to rest my bones and enjoy the exitement that the northern woods offers.
You see. There is a Reason for the Season. To stand by the campfire and tell stories new and old, to share trailcam photos and to enjoy the people you spend time with during the season. The memories will last forever.
Below are a few pics from the Season: Eddie Neil, John Asbury's buck, Ryan Pierceall Archery, Ty Kessner, Randy Wolfe Muzzle Loader, Tony Pierceall's buck, Randy Wolfe Rifle, Brandon Baker and Myself Jim Smith.
Remember the future of conservation starts with us.