Hunting 2017

Home Up

HUNTING 2017

Our annual archery season came in this year on September 9, 2017, however I again elected to wait until the first week in October to climb into my favorite hunting platform.  I was hoping the weather would cool down, but it was above normal with variable winds, not the most conducive for good bowhunting since you have to get fairly close to the deer; or least speaking for myself.

I put about a month of practice in with the 2008 Matthews model Drenalin Solo Cam bow getting decent grouping with my practice broadhead arrows.  Shelled corn was broadcast for a couple months and the deer were feeding on it, but not too aggressively yet.  The acorn crop was late coming in due to the weather drought and last year was a bumper crop for acorns, therefore much fewer acorns available this year.

FIRST ARCHERY HUNT

I got on stand around 4:00 P.M. on October 2, 2017 and as usual it was very awkward with enough gear on my person to survive a week in the wilderness, so it seemed.  It was hard to stay very still and move in slow motion, but I was finally getting in the groove.  It has been very dry and the small branch which is a leg off Culpepper Creek was about totally dry on our property.  You can go down the branch aka creek about 100 yards and find water pretty much year round due to spring heads feeding into it and the steep terrain helping funnel water into the branch.

Around 4:30 P.M. I heard and saw movement to my right and a couple does were working there way to the broadcast corn area, but the wind was swirling some and they made a complete circle and came in very nervous from the left side of the broadcast corn.  I waited until I had a broadside shot at the larger doe and when I drew my bowstring back, my face mask nose portion was blocking the view from the peep sight on my bow string and had a hard time getting a good sight alignment with the fiber optic sight pin centered in the rear peep sight.  When I released the arrow, it struck high and to the rear of my point of aim and the sound was more hollow like a gut shot.

The deer ran to my right and I never heard the deer fall or crash into anything which is not a good sign of a properly placed kill shot.  I waited until 7:30 P.M. which was getting dark and climbed down the to the ground.  I checked the arrow for blood and there wasn't any and smelled the arrow for stomach contents, but didn't smell anything.  I went to the last place I saw the deer and picked a very sparse blood trail which went into some very thick cutover growth from the year 2004. The deer cut back to its left and I continued to follow a very light blood trail for at least 100 yards plus until the blood trail ran completely out. I criss crossed back and forth trying to pickup a blood trail, but there was none that could be found.  It took about three (3) hours to track the deer and I fell aka slid down into a gulley very hard on my tail bone and would probably have gotten hurt if I had not had my back pack on which helped cushion the fall. I also did not have my glasses and/or safety glasses on and did feel some of the thick bushes and brush hitting myself in the face.

When, I got back home, my bride asked me what happened to my right eye, of which I wasn't aware that I had hurt it, because there wasn't any pain.  I went into the bathroom and there was no visible white showing in my right eye, but dark red and black bloodshot; the mirror reflection didn't lie this time!

The following morning, I had an appointment to see my Dermatologist, Dr. Waldman in Monroe, NC and had an afternoon appointment to see our Optometrist, Dr. Holly Kiker for an eye exam.  While at Dr. Waldman's office, I pointed out a place on the top front of my nose that didn't look right of which he agreed.  He cut a little plug out and sent it off for a biopsy and I was to return in two weeks for a follow-up.  That afternoon, I got an eye exam from Dr. Kiker and she said I had an abrasion below my right cornea, prescribed some medicated drops to help prevent infection and return in three weeks for a follow-up exam.

A few days later while in our local Walmart, I noticed a young lady in the next isle over starring at myself intently and I made eye contact with her and said, "I am getting ready early for Halloween" and she replied, "But it looks so real"; I grinned and said, "It is real", only in America!

SECOND ARCHERY HUNT

The following Friday, October 6, 2017, I got back on the same stand around 4:30 P.M. and around dusk dark, a small doe came in and starting munching on the shelled corn.  I didn't have any trouble this time getting a good sight picture through the string peep with the fiber optic pin centered and on the deer's vitals, since I cut the flexible plastic nose piece out of the face mask.  I released the arrow and it was a good hit and heard the deer fall down going to the left in some heavy cover, probably less than 35 yards.  It didn't take but a few minutes to locate the deer which was a this year yearling, of which looked much bigger in the later afternoon diminishing light.  The doe was field dressed and was no trouble dragging the deer out due to its small size, which was skinned, quartered up and placed in my basement game refrigerator for aging.  Several days later, the deer was cut up and vacuum sealed.  I didn't take any pictures of that small deer and it was a milk mouth deer as our local trophy hunters call anything less than a Boone and Crockett class buck.  I witnessed one of those trophy hunters with a passion for deer hunting that harvested a fawn still in spots with an arrow and the fawn might have weighted 30 pounds on the hoof.  BTW, that wasn't his first fawn harvested with an arrow either...........grin if you must!  Been there, done that!  However, the yearling just harvested will be some very tender eating for sure.

The deer harvest was reported via the web.

The weather got very hot again and might have hunted a time or two since then, but decided to wait until our black powder gun season comes in on October 28, 2017.

FIRST MUZZLELOADER DEER TAKEN

I got back from my radiation treatment early on November 6, 2017 and around 10:00 A.M., I observed two does helping themselves to my broadcast corn.  The larger doe got spooky and exited before I could touch off a shot and the smaller deer which was a button buck stayed.  A little while later, the doe must have surmised that everything was ok, since Junior was steadily crunching the corn.  She presented a broadside shot and the ole smoke pole bellowed white/blue smoke and the deer exited to the right and all was quiet again.  I knew I made a good hit and didn't wait around any.  I put my back pack on and proceeded to track the doe.

I found small pieces of meat what appeared to be from the doe's lungs and there was a small blood trail which I followed at least 100 yards or more to the downed deer.  She was quickly field dressed using my latest custom made knife and it performed flawless.  I was able to open the entire brisket with the 4 inch length stiff backed blade which is not necessary to open a deer past the diaphragm since you can reach in and cut out the heart lungs, etc., but wanted to give the little blade a good field test and workout.  The blade thickness is only .063 inches and surprised how easily it went through the brisket.  That proves you don't need a knife blade .250 inches in blade thickness for field dressing deer, unless you plan to use it to open 55 gallon steel drums or for survival purposes.  With that said, a .125 inch thickness blade would certainly be the ideal thickness for strength, general usage and durability in my humble opinion.

Well pleased with the performance of the above knife.  Actual blade length is 4.125 inches +-.  This knife reminds me of the patch knives that Mountain men carried hanging down from their neck in a sheath and positioned in the center of their chest or attached to their black powder accessory bag.

Custom knife in action, separating the anal track from the walls of the pelvic bone.  Check out my short story on Field Dressing Deer 101 which is hyperlinked here



I must say, this was one of the hardest deer to drag out, simply because the radiation treatment appears to be zapping my energy and strength level.  The last 50 yards was grueling and I could go only about 25 to 30 steps before I had to stop and rest, but finally got the deer out.  I believe it took me thirty-six (36) minutes to drag the doe out to level ground where the little red Ranger truck was parked.

The deer was field dressed, quartered and placed in my basement game refrigerator for aging and later processing.  I plan to grind everything except the back aka loin strap and tenderloins.

That should be some "beautimous" tasting venison for sure.

The deer harvest was report via the web.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-07-17.

PROCESSING THE DOE

On 10-09-17, I deboned the neck, shoulders and hind quarters of the doe and ended up with 23.5 pounds of meat.  I placed the deboned meat in the freezer for a few hours prior to grinding the meat into burger which puts less stress on the 2/3 hp meat grinder.  The back aka loin strap and tenderloins yielded 2.75 pounds, of which I sliced the back aka loin strap and kept the tenderloins whole.  Everything was vacuum sealed and placed in my basement freezer.  Just for curiosity, I weighted the bones from the neck, shoulders and hind quarters and they came to 18 pounds.  Guessing the live weight of the doe was around 90 lbs. on the hoof.

Check my Hunting 2012 page for a better pictorial essay of deboning a deer under the paragraph titled, "After your Deer is Down."  I borrowed that title from one of Leonard Lee Rue III books.

There was a smaller pan of ground venison that I didn't take a pix of.

I formed the meat into about a one pound ball and then into an oblong shape to easily go into the opening of a Cabelas one quart vacuum freezer bag.

I ended up with 24 bags of ground venison.  The red stains on the work table in my basement shop is walnut stain, not deer blood.........grin if you must!

The clean-up of the meat grinder, accessory items and getting the grinder ready for the next usage is probably the least fun aspect of harvesting wild game, but definitely is necessary.

In closing, I have had a few health issue set backs this year, but give God the Praise, Glory and Honor in all things through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  I am thankful for each and every day that our Lord allows!

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-10-17.

SECOND MUZZLELOADER DEER TAKEN

I still had my antiquated Knight MK85 left hand muzzleloader loaded and decided to fire it at a deer instead of wasting a bullet/sabot, even though our regular gun firearms season came in on November 11, 2017.....guess that is kind of frugal.

There was no deer activity at one of my favorite hunting stands until around 5:30 P.M., guessing at the time, since there was still plenty of daylight shooting time left.  A button buck came in first, followed by a yearling doe and it was several minutes before a large doe came in from the opposite side of the broadcast corn feeding area.  I watched them for several minutes and kept waiting for a buck to appear, of which didn't happen.  I placed the crosshairs of the Leupold VariXIII 3.5 x 12 x 50mm behind the doe's front shoulder, squeezed the trigger and bluish smoke obscured the entire area for several seconds after the muzzle report.

To make a long story short, I tracked the doe about 80 yards and quickly field dressed her with my latest custom made knife pictured above.  I opened the deer up from stem to stern which isn't necessary, but still field testing the blade which is performing flawless.

I hit the deer high in the lungs, which was several inches higher than my point of aim and believe it was the shooter and not the gun, but will bench shoot it before our next muzzleloader hunting season comes in.  The camera angle makes the hit look higher than it is, but still a very high lung shot placement.  The exit hole was much lower than the entry hole. 

After field dressing the doe and the long drag out, she was later hung on our White Oak hanging tree nicknamed Tom Dooley, skinned, quartered up and placed in my basement game refrigerator for a few days aging before deboning, grinding into burger and slicing the back aka loin strap.  I normally save the tenderloins whole.

I reported the deer harvest via the web.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-13-17.

LEAVING ON A SPIRITUAL NOTE

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

IN GOD WE TRUST - GOD BLESS AMERICA - "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE"   JOHN 3:16 KJV 

Home Up