This past Wednesday was the opener for the 2010 Connecticut firearms deer season. In CT there are 2 types of deer permits you can purchase, Private land firearms and State Land Firearms. The Private land permit runs the entire season from November 17th through December 7th and you can use Rifle or shotgun. Rifle hunting requires the private land you are hunting to be at least 10 acres or more and there is a 2 deer bag limit one either sex and one antlerless tag. State Land is broken down into two permit periods. A season runs November 17th through November 26th. and B season runs November 27th through December 7th. Shotguns with slugs only and 1 deer either sex bag limit. We do have some deer management zones that offer up more liberal bag limits but in the zones I hunt the above limits hold true.
Heavy rains and winds where on tap for Wednesday so the game plan was to see what it was like in the AM and then make a decision on what to do. I woke to pouring rain and more on the way according to the radar so I texted Busch Pilot and Bubba good luck and I crawled back into bed for another hour of sleep and then off to work. Wednesday seemed to drag on as I kept waiting for a text from the boys but I never received one. They hadn't seen a single deer all day and heard very little shooting. On the way home from work I stopped at the check station to see how things were going and they had checked in only 46 deer which was less than half of a normal opening day. The largest deer brought in that day was a 215lb 10 pointer with a high buck to doe ratio.
Thursday looked good but high winds so I decided to head to work instead which seemed like a good idea seeing once again that deer sightings were light. Busch Pilot had seen a bunch of does but was holding out for a buck so he just watched the parade in the AM and Bubba bumped one when he was moving around and that was it. Another stop at the local check station and they had only processed 40 deer and once again about a 3 to 1 ratio of bucks to does. One out our friends got a 145lb spike buck that the biologist aged a 1 1/2 years old.
Friday was looking good so I decided to spend the day in the woods. Bubba and I went to a piece of private land and Busch Pilot was on his own at another piece of private land. Bubba and I didn't see anything in the AM and only heard about 10 shots all mornign and 3 came from the property across the street where one of the guys shot a deer. Busch Pilot saw a few more does and a nice 8 pointer that he tried to work but ended up losing it in the laurels. That afternoon I decided to hunt a piece of state land that I have never hunted before but had scouted a few times the last month. The place I decided to hunt had been covered in deer sign. Scraps and rubs everywhere, but most of the scrapes had not been touched recently. Lots of tracks, signs of feeding, bedding and scat. You would have to close your eyes to not see sign of deer so I have been waiting patiently to hunt out there. I got all settled in on a knob overlooking some flat benches with some thicker brush to my back. The wind was all over the place making hearing anything almost impossible and blowing my scent all over the place. I didn't see anything until on my way out after legal shooting ended and ti was two does crossing the swamp and making a heck of a racket. Another friend of ours got a small buck with half rack broke off. As he was field dressing it the coyotes started making all kinds of racket and got a little too close for his comfort so he got the job done and got out of there. Another stop at the check station revealed 43 deer for the day and 33 were bucks.
Saturday found our crew all over the place. Bubba was back out with Steve on some private land near home. Busch Pilot was back out to where he saw the buck on Friday and I headed back out to state land. as I was walking in I jumped a deer just off the logging road to my right and I could hear one up on the left as well. I thought about sitting tight on the logging road and waiting for shooting light but I figured there would be more hunter traffic coming in seeing it was the first Saturday of the season so I headed strait for the same spot I sat Friday evening. The sun stayed behind the clouds and the wind was once again blowing all over the place making hearing anything impossible. About 7:30am I decided to check the phone to see if anyone got luck and I had 2 messages. One from Bubba with a picture of his buck shot at 6:40am and one from Busch Pilot with his buck shot at 6:50am. BP was reading Bubba's text message and had to put the phone down to shoot his buck. Amazing. Around 8am in between the wind I swore I heard something that sounded like deer but I couldn't be sure. Then I swore I heard it again and turned to my right only to be looking face to face with a small spike buck just about 50 yards away. He saw me turn my head and up the hill he went offering no shot. I tried to trick him back off the hill with a few "doe int he can" and grunts but he wanted nothing to do with that orange blob he just saw. Oh well. about 10am I decided to go for a walk and check out where the spike had gone only to find plenty more sign but no deer. After a stop to rest and eat a pop tart I decided to work across the benches back to where I came in and check around there and wouldn't you know it right where I had jumped that deer in the dark was a fresh scrape. argggggggghhhhhhh. I should have setup on the logging road in the AM like I wanted to do. Oh well. I got all setup for the last two hours on the edge of the marsh and once again the wind just wouldn't cooperated making it a miserable afternoon. On the way out I jumped a doe standing on the logging road at the brook. They are taunting me but this will just make be come back to play the game some more.
|Busch Pilot's 2010 Buck|
|Bubba's 2010 Buck|