It had been quite a few days, make that weeks, since my last bow hunt. When you combine the factors of a hectic work schedule, travel demands, family obligations, warm weather, and waiting for the right conditions to get back on stand made it seem like the time was never going to come. So, I decided to make some time. I guess that's what it has to come down to during this time of the year. After finishing off the day's work I shot out for a few hours in the tree to try my luck.
Weather conditions: Steady winds out of the west 15- 20 mph with the maximum gusts registering at 29mph (not exactly ideal conditions if you get motion sickness easily!). Overcast & cloudy, with the temperatures starting off in the mid 50's then dropping down into the mid 40's by the time sunset came. Sunset was at 6:38 according to the ODNR, which meant legal shooting light ended 30 minutes later. Total deer seen from the stand: 8; 3 bucks (Thin tined 8 point, an eager 6 point, and an educated fork horn) 5 does. The bucks are starting to move more during the daylight hours now!
I returned to the M1 stand for several reasons. The farmer's combines had just recently made their passes through the standing corn, the trail camera batteries & memory card needed changed, and there are big bucks in the area. It's hard to ignore that fact and let the stand sit empty for too long.
The first deer I saw that night was the one that taught me something new about the property. He entered the cut corn field from the far south end, traveling across the open ground without a care in the world, stopping to feed on the abundance of kernels left behind. Through the binoculars I watched him disappear into the deep ditch dividing the two fields, then reappear minutes later to continue on his seemingly predetermined route. Why the hell was this deer walking toward the area where my truck was parked, and coincidentally the road? It didn't make any sense. I kept waiting for him to turn away from the suburban car traffic and head to the west where there is a large bedding area, the creek, more woods, more food, more cover, basically everything you read about in an article about whitetail habitat.
Then he turned east towards the busy road, with most of the traffic passing by probably somewhere close to the posted 35mph speed limit. Oh no, this is not going to be good. Unless this guy has learned to look both ways before crossing the street, chances are I might watch this fork horn get smashed, and possibly cause an equally disastrous outcome for the unsuspecting driver coming around the bend. But that's not what happened. There's actually a small bridge, maybe 10 feet wide, where that meandering ditch that cut the two corn fields in half makes it's way under the road. That deer took another mouthful of the waste grains that littered the ground, then calmly and safely crossed the road by walking right under it.