2017-12-02 / Outdoors

Wolf Tracks

Outdoor Columnist
Dave Wolf

So how did your first week of deer season go?

Searching through social media sites, I found photos of some amazing bucks with large bodies and incredible antlers.

My own experiences were not nearly as exciting. Furthermore, most of the other hunters I’ve talked with reported that they had not seen a single deer.

On opening day, I saw only two deer. One was a doe, and the other was trotting through a distant cornfield that was being cut down. I had high hopes that a buck would follow the lonely doe, but one never did.

I had been out there since dawn and was filled with high hopes. As the day wore on, the constant winds made the temperatures feel colder than they really were. Still, I was determined to stay the entire day.

Movement was everywhere; the dying, rust-colored leaves still attached to small saplings were constantly swaying. I closed my eyes occasionally, for only seconds at a time, trying to keep my staring from causing eyestrain.


Bucks like this may not be “trophy animals” to some hunters, but most would be thrilled to run into one in the second week of deer season. Linda Shutty photo Bucks like this may not be “trophy animals” to some hunters, but most would be thrilled to run into one in the second week of deer season. Linda Shutty photo Hunting pressure was down from the past few years. All the shots I heard were in the distance, telling me that any deer would have to run close to mile to get to my small woodlot. I searched for a better location and finally set up again.

I was a bit surprised to see all the green in those fields of clover, knowing that whitetails love that sweet treat. However, it wasn’t until 3 o’clock that I finally saw a second deer, trotting along the edge of the freshly cut cornfield. I almost begged it to come my way, but it never did.

Sitting back down, I began to take it all in. Nature always provides me a place of peace and tranquility, and perhaps I had learned to be more patient.

Where else would I rather be? What in the world is more pressing than being here? Hunting has taken me to the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

The sun was beginning to set, and the sky was a mixture of hues that I have often taken for granted. As I began to work my way down the hill, I smiled. I knew I would have to push myself to get back out there. But I remained thankful that I could.

So I will continue to go forth, hoping to gather some venison for our freezer, but thankful for grocery stores. In the meantime, I will keep on trying, simply because in hunting, just as in life, a few moments is all it takes for things to change.

(Dave Wolf can be reached by email at wolfang418@msn.com.)

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