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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hunting Season 2009 - Gone!

Well people, it's over for us in New Hampshire! This Sunday is the last day of season for archers, and few will be out, probably including me...It is cold here, wind chill down to about zero, and trees waving all over the place. Like seventy five per cent of the rest of the country we have a foot of snow on the ground. While this is great for tracking, firearms season is over, so save your energy. Bows won't cut it. As I write it is ten degrees!

Here you see  hunters arriving and getting ready for first camp, early in November for a late afternoon hunt!

We harvested a lot fewer deer this year. Only four campers tagging out except for several that went to West Virginia and (as usual) hit the Southern jackpot. I got one by bow, two got deer by muzzleloader, one by rifle. One of my trooper buddies, earlier, hit a ten pointer with a high shot arrow, and he was never recovered, most likely surviving. We even had game wardens tracking him, and he never laid down.
Cooking venison for eight!

One of the reasons we took fewer deer this year is that I instituted rules eliminating taking anything smaller than eight points ( except does in season) and having only two, three day camps vs. three in past years.

Our first camp was a bust because of weather...Friday afternoon we hunted, but by ten that night it was pouring and never stopped all through Saturday into Sunday morning. That put a big damper on things and definitely brought out the cribbage boards!

Interest in the second camp was limited at best, and next year we may cut back to one single four day camp. Not sure why attendance was down, but most of New Hampshire is wide open to hunting and we all have multiple places to hunt. Many of the hunters tried new places, some with great luck.

In any case, after about November 8th, I noted that not a single buck fired up any of our game cameras until after dark. Evening after evening I sat over does, twenty feet below me, feeding contentedly with no bucks in sight. After hiking back to my ATV after dark, I would just ease down the 1/2 mile trail to the far field and inevitably find a half dozen deer on my clover. I could never see in that light if there were any bucks among them, but I doubt it. So it's over. The freezer is full, I have arrow heads to sharpen, guns to clean, and camp to put in order for the winter. All of it is fun.

Campfires always bring out the best in us all...

Gearing up for a venison supper...
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