Fishing Report

Deer season for regular firearms kicked off this past Saturday in Area 2 and since I don’t bow hunt and no longer pack a muzzleloader, this would be deer season opening day for me. I was pumped.

I joined my hunting buddy George and his daughter at our camp in Jackson Parish to spend the night and get ready for Saturday’s opening.

After a restful night of sleep and a hearty breakfast of biscuits, eggs and bacon, I headed out the door to face a morning chill; winds were calm and the thermometer read 40 degrees, a perfect way to kick off opening day. I headed out for a stand in an area of our hunting club I’d never hunted.

But something bad was about to happen.

Climbing into the roomy box stand and getting my gear arranged, I waited for daybreak to see what my new surroundings might produce. Dawn began giving shape and substance to the pines and the four shooting lanes jutting out at 90 degree angles from the stand gave me a good view of anything that might be walking these new woods.

But something bad was about to happen.

As the sun began easing above the horizon behind me, slanted shafts of light penetrated the pines, piercing even into the heart of the underbrush. The title of a song came to mind….”Morning has broken”. Beautiful and serene.

But something bad was about to happen.

Half an hour after sunrise, I saw movement down the lane in front of me. Easing my binoculars up for a closer look, it was a buck with a tight and small 4 point rack, not nearly large enough to fit into our club rules; a legal buck has to have at least 6 points and be 12 inches or wider between the antlers. Half an hour later, another buck crossed the lane, one with a slightly more impressive rack but I could only see four points.

Over the next couple of hours, I watched a gray fox trot across a lane, I turned just in time to see the back end of a coyote crossing and still later, I glanced out the window to my pile of rice bran and watched a fawn, spots still showing, buried nearly eye-ball deep in the bran.

After all I’d observed on my morning hunt in the new area, I climbed down and began my walk back to my truck, feeling good about the prospects this area held.

But something bad was about to happen.

Back at the camp, George had steaks on the grill and after a wonderful lunch, the urge to catch up on the hour of sleep I’d missed by rising early, began tugging at my eyelids; it was time for a nap.

But something bad was about to happen.

For the afternoon hunt, I chose a stand on the opposite side of the club, one I hunted last season. The same sun that created such a stunning view that morning began a repeat performance through the pines to the west. To be honest, I was thoroughly enjoying myself, even to the point of reckoning that if I didn’t see a thing this afternoon, the day had already been sufficiently rewarding.

But something bad was about to happen.

As the sun began slipping below the horizon and fading out the brightness that was there only moments before, I glanced at my watch; it was time to call it a day, and a good one it had been. I texted George and told him I was headed back to camp.

Literally one minute before I started gathering my gear to climb down, two doe suddenly appeared. With two either-sex tags in my pocket, I was going to end this day in a marvelous way, taking a doe for the freezer.

The pair appeared nervous but one stepped broadside into a clearing. In haste to take the shot before she skittered away, I jerked the trigger. Something bad happened. I missed.