Wednesday, November 15, 2023

After-Action-Report: Day One

Two, itty-bitty, baby deer sighted in 10.5 hours of hunting. That, folks, is why it is called "hunting" rather than "shooting".

The "Orchard Blind" is in the corner of an apple orchard and overlooks a bowl with the rim of the bowl some 100 yards away from the stand. The stand is blocked off to the eastsoutheast and has shooting ports in the other directions. The floor is about 10' above the ground it is a cold place to sit when it is windy.

It was windy this morning and about 34F. Not "Texas windy" but 10mph sustained and 20mph gusts windy. I froze my butt off. Belladonna joined for the morning hunt and she was our primary shooter. I was there for backup and for conversation.

The afternoon was more pleasant in terms of weather even if Belladonna had to go to work.

My read on the situation is that there are tons of deer there but they are not funneling past my blind. If you look at the nearby fields as slices of bread, there is a slice of alfalfa field, and then a slice of corn field and then a slice of "cover" that is, swamp and goldenrod meadow. My stand is at the corner of the fields where the corn slice becomes the "cover" slice.

All of the other field within eyesight are picked soybean fields. Picked soybean fields might have some spilled beans for food but are as bare as a baby's butt with regard to cover.

The fly in the ointment (for my situation) is that the corn has not been picked yet. The deer feast on the corn. They sleep in the corn. They mosey on over to the alfalfa at dark and stuff themselves on that. They have no reason to visit the goldenrod/meadow/swamp.

Things SHOULD change after the corn is harvested.

The alfalfa will still be there. There will still be corn missed by the harvester for them to glean, but the goldenrod and swamps will be the only game in town for cover for bedding.


She has another cold. This is pretty much how I remember parenthood. Lurching from one set of sniffles to the next.

She is also moping. She misses Handsome Hombre and Mrs ERJ.

She gave me the rough edge of her tongue when I came home from hunting. "You have responsibilities. ME! Stop being a play-baby and do your job."

Properly chastised, I will be Mr Granddad tomorrow and Friday. Saturday I will go hunting again and perhaps the corn will be harvested 8-).


  1. Replies
    1. Every bit of it, although I would be lying if I said that I like it when Mrs ERJ is away from home.

  2. Yep, some days you get zip... Hang in there and wait for the deer you want.

  3. No matter how bare, always play the soybean fields.

  4. As a wildlife buffet operator aka gardener, I occasionally harvest a deer or such when the freezer gets low. I call it taxes. The last one was with my garden revolver. We have some dog issues and a young black bear that visits, so the garden gun.

  5. Somewhere between the cover and the anticipated food source, along with being downwind from that path might be a ticket for your venison collection. I wish you luck and great views while waiting for Bambi to show up.

    Your hunt is far different from my opening day 1st weekend of November. Temperatures were in the 60's, light steady wind and sunshine. I was completely skunked while waiting on my stand, while my Brother saw a herd of javelinas. He chose to hold fire due to opening day. As Christmas draws near, need for Christmas Tamales filling grows.

  6. Watched a nice buck chase a doe at a high rate of speed all over the field and wood lot. Small 6 point loped along behind. It's too warm here for me to shoot one (70 Degrees by 10 AM) and process it myself but enjoy the time in the field. Good luck!


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