The last weekend of season is usually when Deer Camp gets serious. For each hunter, one of two things have happened. Either he has his buck and is just a last tag, or he has not had any luck and is trying to make something happen. For the Shamanic Dream Team, it was freezer filling time. SuperCore and Angus each had one antlerless tag left, and the doe were just not cooperating.
The first few days of Kentucky’s Modern Weapon’s season had been a shooting gallery. We had each gotten our bucks Opening Weekend, and then the action turned off. I had taken a lone doe the next Saturday. It did not help anything that SuperCore had developed a cough that you could hear clear back to the house. It also did not help that there were no shots coming from the surrounding ridges. When the woods fall silent like that, you know the deer are not being cooperative. We had all gone back to town for Thanksgiving Dinner with dark expectations. We were not disappointed. I stopped at Lenoxburg and picked up my two deer. That fairly filled the chest freezer at camp.
I arrived back at camp Friday morning, still feeling the effects of KYHillChick’s turkey dinner. I needed someone to roll me out on a rock and leave me to bask. However, it was dark and chilly when I got there. It took the better part of the afternoon to warm up the place. SuperCore had been held up with ATV trouble. He got there just in time for a quick afternoon hunt that yielded only a couple of distant doe coming out to feed on a far ridge.
Angus showed up well after we had turned in. With the new job, he had not been able to get Black Friday off. The crew got up a full hour later than the Opener and went out, leaving me with Lily the Love Hound to mind camp. It was one of those mornings where you never got a clear idea when the sun came up. I puttered about airing out my hunting duds and catching up on housekeeping. It was dreary and cold. Nobody saw much of anything. Both guys were back in from their blinds before I expected them. We adjourned to the store in Berlin for and early lunch. Angus and SuperCore had both resolved to go out to the blinds right away. I chose to take a nap. When I awoke before 3, they were still playing cards. They finally left, while I got up to tend camp. Angus went to Midway. SuperCore decided to try the stand at Blackberry.
Normally, when I am not hunting, I like to retire out to the Thoughtful Spot an hour or so before sundown to sip a cocktail and contemplate the view. I’ve been wading through a whale of a book since the end of Turkey Season:
I found it in Dad’s effects. I remember him getting this phonebook sized tome for Christmas back in 1966. I found his bookmark. He had managed to get to page 79 and gotten bogged down in the depressing aftermath of Pearl Harbor. It is a actually a fantastically energizing book despite its 1000+ pages– a collection of first-hand accounts. In some cases sailors and correspondents had only seconds to shove their diaries in their vests before abandoning ship. I was trying to get through the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and failed to notice the time as it passed five. I was just climbing into my perch with the book, and a set of binos when the first shot came at 1718 ET. A minute later the walkie-talkie came on.
“SuperCore to Earth.”
“This is Earth. Go ahead SuperCore.”
“I have a doe down.”
I turned around and started firing up the deerwagon. I let it idle a bit. Ten minute later I heard another shot coming from the south. I stopped what I was doing and walked into the back so I would get a good signal. Sure enough, I had my hand on the walkie-talkie when the came in.
“Angus calling Earth.”
“This is Earth.”
“Scratch one doe.” This one had run into the woods. I advised Angus that I was on my way to retrieve one deer already and would be at his position in the next 15 minutes or so.
SuperCore’s Doe had come into the pasture that falls off on the far side of Garbage Pit. SuperCore had seen her walking through the trees and had taken a perfect shot and dropped her in the middle of the field at 100 yards. We used the L-E-Vator to get her in the back of the S10. I then drove them out to the meatpole and got the doe hoisted before taking off for Midway. As soon as I pulled into the field, I saw the doe at the extreme northern end. Angus had found her less than 10 yards into the woods and pulled her out. I travelled down the field to pick him up just as he was locking the door to Midway. His shot had gone the entire length of the field. I estimate it at 220 yards, which set the camp record. SuperCore was nearly done gutting his deer when we pulled back into camp and hoisted Angus’ doe. Gutted, cleaned, and Telechecked, we had both doe back in the truck and on the way to the processor Lenoxburg before 1830. We were back and the gutpiles put out in the field before 1930. I grilled the last of the sirloin steaks.