2013 North Carolina Archery Deer Season - Opening weekend
Well, after an uneventful South Carolina Opening weekend, I readied my things for the North Carolina opener. Here, we have a more traditional season: Early Bow is "Monday on or nearest September the 10th", Muzzleloader is "Monday on or nearest Oct 1st", a Late Bow two weeks after that runs till a 3 week Rifle Season starts on the Monday of Thanks Giving week. Now you see why I bow hunt...I know a lot of guys who are "hard core" hunters who only hunt during Rifle Season...not enough for me!
After much debate, I decided to hunt my private land lease in Caldwell County. This property is a very remote 115 acres in the middle of big foothills hunting club country. My partner on the lease is my best friend Josh, and we work relentlessly on the place to make it better. It consists of a big square chunk of land that encompasses one big drainage. Ridges run on three sides and all wash into the same creek bottom that makes up the fourth side of the Property. We positioned our camp on one of the highest points, middle ways down the Northwest side. We started out in a tent but, due to huge amount of bears in the area, decided to build a very temporary cabin. It is a 10'x20' OSB shack with an economy grade tin roof, two cots and a small Jotul wood stove in the corner. Who knows how long we will leases this tract, so the whole thing is built so it can easily be disassembled, put on a trailer and moved to the next place.
There are 9 stands on the place, mostly lock-ons in natural crossing areas. We also have two food plots both about a half acre. We keep a feeder running in the center of the property and never go in there except to fill the feeder or mow around it. We hunt the outer rim of the property only, allowing the center to be an undisturbed deer haven. We have 10-20 resident deer, and get several more passing thru from time to time. We always get impressive trail cam picks in October.
So, I showed up to hunt on Wednesday of opening week, expecting to stay thru Sunday.
After I unpacked and set up camp, I dressed out, sprayed down and headed to the stand. You go uphill from the cabin to get to what we call the "upper food plot". It's a planted strip about 75 yards long on a spur off of a pretty big mountain that is not on our place. The strip is surrounded with 40-50 year old first successional forest. We have lots of mast producing trees on this tract, but it is still a fairly young forest with an extremely thick understory. I arrived to find that the Cowpeas and Sunflowers in the food plot had been very heavily browsed. Some fall grass had already started taking over, this discouraged me, but the tracks were everywhere, and fresh as they could be.
I climbed up in the stand and immediately dropped my glasses and had to climb back down.
Finally I settled in for a 4 hour set, knowing I wouldn't see anything 'till right at dark. It was thundering and clouds were rolling in all around me. The wind picked up to 10 to 15 mph a couple times, but it was in my face, so I stuck it out. Right about dark the mosquitos started to drive me pretty crazy, so I stood up and started digging thru my pack for my spray. I found it, hung my pack back up, and turned around to sit down. A freakin' deer was standing in the middle of the field! Big doe. Another popped her head out of the brush and stepped on out. This one had a fawn in tow. They were over 40 yards away, so I waited to see if they would get any closer, and to see if the first doe had any fawns with her. Five minutes passed and it was getting dark quick. Deciding it was now or never, I raised my bow, drew, and put my 40 yard pin high and the first doe's shoulder. I made sure I was completely steady, and touched the trigger on my release. I couldn't see the arrow when it hit, but it sounded wonderful. Sounded like ribs. I smiled to myself, gathered my things and climbed on down. The Blood trail was amazing, and when I dressed her I confirmed a high heart shot. First day, meat in the cooler.
I stayed 3 more days and hunted with my long bow a little since the pressure was off. I had several more sightings, but never got a deer to come in to my comfortable range. I had some roaring camp fires, awesome meals, and drank nearly a half gallon of Evan William's Green in the 3 nights I was there. On Saturday I woke up to rain, so I cleaned up, reluctantly packed my things and headed home.
Thanks for reading! The rest of September I hunted on Public land and had some AWESOME experiences...blog coming soon. Be sure to check out the video of the doe I harvested in this blog edition on my Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/briargoatkilla. Later!
Always wanted to hunt WV...never had a chance! I'm a full time Paramedic student right now, and I work as an EMT, so my hunting time is limited. Next year we need to trade a hunt for sure. You come down and stay with me one weekend, and I'll do the same with you. It'll be cool.
|06.10.20131 replies1 replies|
Great read man. I never knew you had so much going on and so much to tend to. It sounds like you two are doing great with that lease. My cousin, best friend, and hunting buddy is also named Josh and we have put in quite a bit of work as well trying to make this season a success. Much to the demise of many trees last year though we had a major freak storm that demolished the property. Set back years of work. Now we have only walking access cut through the property with the exception of the main dirt road in rather than atv access to most points. We do not ride atvs on the property to hunt. ATV trails were specifically for assisting the removal of animals on the property from hard to drag locations.
I've had so many doe come in on me these first few days of season here. If it was not for having meat still left over from last year Its possible I would have tried to drop one. Bucks are far and few between right now. First 2 hours of light is exciting and then its so hot right now that nothing moves anywhere after that. Can't wait for colder weather.
You might have to visit WV sometime, stay in the hunting cabin, and we will have some of those fires, food, and drinks. You ever been hunting in WV?