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Tilting at windmills--part II


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On 11/25/2018 at 7:59 AM, atticus said:

Here we go again!

 

Tilting at windmills

Verb:

(intransitive) To attack imaginary enemies.

(intransitive, by extension) To go on a wild-goose chase; to persistently engage in a futile activity.

 

The Massachusetts shotgun deer season opens half an hour before sunrise tomorrow and I should be in my spot a few hundred yards behind my house at 6am.  There has been plenty of activity in the area--I saw 2 bucks chasing does at midday yesterday a few miles from the house-- and there are a bunch of tracks in the snow out back and a few Doe wandering in the yard at night.  Its been over 20 years since I filled my tag but hope springs eternal!  I have 2 weeks to score with my shotgun, followed by 3+ weeks of muzzle loader.  

 

My gear is all organized and ready to go--shotgun sighted in with Hornady 2.75" sabots and clothes doused in permethren. 

 

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There are a couple inches of snow on the ground and my spot is high up on an esker giving me a commanding view overlooking a small brook leading into a flooded vernal pool--the wind should be right and the rain will hold off until late afternoon tomorrow.  I'll keep you all posted in my efforts.


 

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."
"What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza.
"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."
"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."
"Obviously," replied Don Quijote, "you don't know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

 

 

And then, when least expected, "El Quixote" makes an appearance on UJ...I love this place...:) 

 

 

Good luck, Noble Squire; may you be worthy of your quarry, and vice versa.

 

 

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This could only happen to me....   I got to my spot at about 6:45, damp, foggy, raw--bone chilling.  First mistake--didn't bring toe and hand warmers because I figured I wouldn't need them s

I took the day off and spent 7+ hours in the woods.  I didn't see anything but a friend of mine hunting a few hundred yards away saw a doe but nothing following.  I did check my camera and found that

Here we go again!   Tilting at windmills Verb: (intransitive) To attack imaginary enemies. (intransitive, by extension) To go on a wild-goose chase; to persistently engage in

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Work has encroached for the last week, but I spent the last couple afternoons in the woods with my muzzle loader. I didn't see anything but another hunter. 

 

I'll keep at it....

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I went out and sat for a bit this afternoon--it was windy and damp so I did a bit of still hunting, hoping to jump something---nothing.

 

I have to admit to loosing enthusiasm at this point.  Only the knowledge of being cooped up in the house for the next few months until maple syrup season is keeping me going still.  I'll try again Monday...

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Standing in a cut soybean field today in NJ had two young bucks bust out at full bore straight away. Had to send one. I don't do running deer usually.No results.

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A bit windy this afternoon but a nice spot to sit in.  Plenty of sign around and I was hoping for a buck to walk along the brook, but no deer seen....again.

 

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I had a very similar spot like this on my property in Michigan.  Always thought a buck should walk by but it never happened.

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The Massachusetts deer season closed at about 4:45 this afternoon. For me it ended in the same way it has for the last 20 odd years--with unfilled tags and by firing my .56 patched round ball into the mud.  I spent the last couple hours of the season in the same spot I started the season in 5 weeks ago.  It was a nice, albeit uneventful, afternoon sit, much like the entire season.  

 

Maybe next year.  

 

The one and only shot of the season. 

 

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I remember growing up there was a man who got his son into deer hunting at what ever the youngest age you could hunt deer in NY/NJ .  His son shot a deer that year and every year since and that kid is now 59 yrs "old" like me and never had a year that he did not kill a deer . His dad hunted every year until he passed away and never shot a deer. Try as he may it never worked out for him.  

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The saga continues...given your accomplishments in Africa on big game, it shows how relatively challenging Whitetail deer hunting can be anywhere. I wish I lived closer and could walk around your area and try and figure out the puzzle. No matter, we all enjoy the narrative.

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Thanks everyone. It has never been lost on me that the sport is hunting, not killing, much like fishing is not catching.

 

It has always been the pursuit I love--and thank goodness!!  Over the years I've missed shots at a few bucks, passed on several spikes and don't get doe tags. Perhaps I just like sitting in the woods with a shotgun/muzzle loader. And, as I've mentioned, I don't take deer hunting very seriously. I do almost no scouting, unlike grouse where I am constantly scouting for new covers. 

 

As for Africa and other places I've hunted, I was thinking about that recently.  In almost all those instances it has been spot and stalk, creeping and crawling along to get into position in fairly open terrain. I really love that but I also have a guide to put me in position to succeed. Even in those circumstances I am always prepared to go home empty handed.  An attitude I'm told by guides is not very prevalent on guided hunts; perhaps my deer hunting ineptitude has given me that. 

 

Out back here, in thick woods, getting a buck in range just seems like luck or happenstance--unless the conditions are right for still hunting, which they were not this year. 

 

 

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Billy, you might want to try a treestand if you can next season. I typically use ladder stands these days, mostly for bowhunting but some Firearm hunting. You'd be surprised how much more area you can see when elevated, even in the thickest terrain. I've shot my share of deer from a treestand that I wouldn't have even seen if on the ground. This also can help keep any movement and your scent less detectable. Keep at it, imagine how sweet it will be when connect and you walk up on a prone Whitetail. Keep your field dressing knife sharp just in case.

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Thanks for taking us along this season - sounds like lots of time afield which is always a good thing.  I personally want to hear a little  more about your .56 caliber MZ !

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On ‎1‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 10:10 AM, Speedgoat44 said:

Thanks for taking us along this season - sounds like lots of time afield which is always a good thing.  I personally want to hear a little  more about your .56 caliber MZ !

It’s nothing special. A Thompson center renegade .56, open sights, set trigger and uses a percussion cap. I’ve had it for years.   It used to be in Massachusetts that black powder season required a smooth bore—no rifled barrels—and exposed ignition.

 

That has long since changed but my TC is very accurate out to 75 yards and I likely wouldn’t have a shot any further, so I’ve never replaced it. 

 

Patched round ball also sounds cool. 

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