This was some kind of deer season for me. What kind, exactly, is open for debate, but all in all not bad. On one hand, I scored this old bruiser on Halloween, but on the other hand, I missed a shot at a buck that made this one look small. I bought a new bow, but had to retire an old friend. I spent time in the woods, but not nearly the amount I'm accustomed to. I missed the opening day of firearms and muzzleloader seasons, but I helped friends and family on both of those weekends. So, I guess the best way to describe this season was bittersweet.
After the missed shot mishap, I decided to retire my old Jennings Buckmaster bow that I've had for 14 years. Sure it wasn't the bow's fault, but I've noticed in the last few years my accuracy was slipping due to a variety of factors, including my physiology. It was time. I'd had my eye on other Bear Archery products for awhile, but my friends tried to convince me the Mathews Z7 Extreme was the way to go. I handled and shot several bows, including the Z7, and decided the Bear Mauler was the smoothest shooting, quietest bow of all that I tried. So I bought one, went straight home and shot 50 arrows a day through it for a week. That thing is nice. Very smooth, very solid wall, and very quiet. The buck pictured above was its first victim, a 35-yard, double lung shot.
Aside from my normal deer camp week the first week of November, I just didn't get out much this season. I was caught in the middle of leaving my job at the newspaper to go on my own. I had a ton of work involved incorporating and setting up my new photo service/agency, INMedia Source Inc
. All the while, my wife had imposed a Thanksgiving deadline on me for completing Phase 2 of our basement finish. I worked days on the business and nights and weekends on that basement. The good news is the business is up and running, and the basement entertainment area got done in time.
As I do with my first deer every year, I donated the meat from my buck to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program. I figured I had plenty of time to tag a doe for the freezer. Well that plan fell through. I missed the opening weekend of firearms season due to helping a long-time friend on his pursuit of running a 100-mile marathon in the desert near Phoenix. That was a great trip, but I don't like missing the firearms opener.
I still had muzzleloader season, or so I thought. My mother in law sold her house, and the move ate that weekend. Work, weather and other issues popped up that basically crippled me the rest of the season. I did manage to get out for a late-season bow hunt and had a close call, but it was not to be.
No, it wasn't a bad season, but I sure would've liked for it to have gone better. I saw a lot of shooter bucks and a lot of nice bucks that will be awesome next season. So I to sum it up, I could quote every Chicago Cubs fan I ever met and say, "There's always next year."