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Conservation-I Can’t Believe It By: Kevin Williams, Grundy County Conservation Director

November 21, 2019
Reinbeck Courier
I can’t believe that I got this far into November without a bowhunting news column. I think that traditionally by this time, I have had at least a couple columns dealing with pesky squirrels, owl sightings, and a host of other bowhunting stories that have nothing to do with harvesting a deer. However, my first bowhunting related column for 2019 is a good one. I should start by saying fall is my favorite season and it never lasts long enough. I know everyone will agree with me that fall barely happened and my Veteran’s Day hunt seemed more like previous December and even January hunts! I had been out several times when Veterans Day finally rolled around. Avid readers of my column might recall that I love Veteran’s Day for hunting, having shot a number of my bucks on that holiday. The previous hunts this year had yielded little for excitement. One encounter with a very nice buck that was more interested in other deer than the grunting noises I was making in an attempt to bring him within range. By November 11, I was seeing and hearing of bucks with does. Shortly, I felt that I would find myself in the “lock down” mode where bucks are with does out in the open and very hard to almost impossible to get. Such was the mindset when I headed out to the stand Veteran’s day afternoon. If bucks were still in the “seek” mode perhaps I should break out the decoy for this hunt. Couple that with the fact that snow blanketed the ground and temps were dropping (into the single digits that night). Shortly after placing the decoy and climbing into the stand I had a “dink” as my daughter refers to them come toward the decoy. A little later, I had another little bit larger fella come by and pay the decoy very little attention. It was most comical when a male hiker noticed my decoy and slowly make his way toward it (and me) trying to figure it out. He walked within several yards before figuring it out and noticing me in the tree. So, as you can guess the afternoon was nearing evening without much excitement. But how quickly that can change. The Northwest wind was getting colder and stiffer. I could bend forward and lean my head against the fork of the tree in front of me and help block the wind. Periodically, I would raise my head to get a quick look at the forest floor in front of me. It was nearing sunset. I had about one-half hour left. Then, I raised my head to find a buck had appeared almost out of nowhere (as bucks can do) especially with the snow-covered conditions. Boy, was I caught flat-footed (or flat bottomed because I was seated and the bow was on the hook above me). To make it worse, the buck sensed something and kept glancing upward to me! Each time he turned to look at the decoy, I would move a little closer up and forward to the bow. Finally, I was standing erect and had the bow in hand. I clicked the release onto the nock. But when I turned my gaze back to the buck he was gone! (To be continued next week).
 
 

 

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