Even though I have been hunting the early Muzzleloader season in Kentucky for 15 years straight, it always seems to catch me by surprise. One evening in October, there is a mad rush to get home, get packed and get back on the road. There is the mad rush at camp with final preparations, and the mad rush to get myself fed and into bed, and the alarm always goes off way too early. Last year, I discovered that we’d left all the powder and balls back at the house. I started making the trek back to town, figuring I’d be back at camp by 0100. They called me about Lennoxburg; the ammo had been one of the first things I’d brought in and we had covered it with the rifle cases on the couch. This year, we left all the thermal underwear in a bag in the laundry room at home. I found enough at camp to cover our two days of hunting, but it took extra scrounging. 0400 came way to early. I left my safety belt on the porch and had to go back.
This has become our dry run for Rifle Season next month. Muzzleloader Season is when we shake off the last of the cobwebs and start getting it all back into one sock. Angus had to dig deep to find his safety harness and the retractable strap that we use to haul our rifles into the stand. SuperCore has bounced back from his heart surgery. He enjoyed his new blind overlooking Skunk Hollow. His only muff was hunting Saturday afternoon without a primer.
I started out at Campground Saturday morning. Temps were in the high 30’s. There was only about 1 shot every 5 seconds, signalling light action on the neighboring ridges. However, I noticed a return of the mysterious semi-automatic muzzleloader that has been absent the past few years. Somebody to our west is operating one with a blazing rapidity. Angus began at Lazy Boy and saw nothing. SuperCore drew a blank at Skunk Hollow. I had a young doe parade around my stand for close to 45 minutes, finally walking out into the field and grazing. I could have shot her a hundred times over. Suddenly, out in the middle of the field, she got it in her mind to run off.
Saturday afternoon was great action. I had close to a dozen doe show up at Virginia, One doe came roaring down the road and whizzed past the stand at full speed. I could never figure out what got her wound up. Something had spooked her sincerely. Over at Blackberry, Angus got quite a show. The largest buck he had ever seen while hunting showed up and gave him a perfect broadside shot, but the range was well beyond his caplock, and he let it pass.
Sunday was ten degrees colder. There were only a handful of shots all morning on the ridges. Most were probably folks giving up and unloading their rifles before going in. SuperCore did see a doe coming over the saddle at Skunk Hollow.