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RobertD's 2020 Season Ramblings and Other Misadventures

RobertD

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
66
This will be a good place for me to chronicle the 2020 hunting season here in Georgia to look back on and hopefully entertain some of the fine folks of Hunt Talk. I know I enjoy everyone's live hunts and I hope everyone enjoys mine.

10/17. Rifle deer opener here in Georgia. I'm on a stand and hunting for the first time since January of this year. Deer season is the best isn't it? And this season could not come any sooner in a year like this one. I won't belabor the point, since we hunt and read about hunting to escape all that.

Today my dad and I are hunting a property in a county that sits on the Georgia-Alabama line, but deep in the southern end of the state. I have never hunted this property before. Dad's in the woods on the east side of the property, near one of his cameras. I am on a sprawling cornfield, situated in a bowl in the back end of the field, away from the highway. No cameras near here. I like not knowing.

About 50 acres sit in this bowl, formed by a big creek that runs just a few hundred yards away from where I sit. It's a gorgeous spot and if I could swap these pines for some cottonwoods I would name this place "Baby Kansas." Or maybe some nice hardwoods and we'll dub it "Little Iowa." Also, there are enough dove flying around down here to feed a small army for at least a few nights.

It's really too hot yet but there are plentiful tracks and lots of corn scattered through the stubble. The first day of deer season, in my mind, marks the beginning of the end of another year on earth for me. Thankful for that. And even more thankful that it's finally here. Thanks to those who follow along. Good luck on your seasons as I turn my phone off and embark on mine. Hallelujah.
 

RobertD

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
66
Update: I rang the bell last night, but a few hours drive home plus skinning, butchering and caping out my buck took until the early hours of the morning. Went to bed tired but so excited I still could barely sleep.

I sat out the evening, with a doe and a small fawn for company. About thirty minutes before dark, a small buck eased out several hundred yards away from my stand. As the light waned, he browsed closer and closer and I watched him, wishing he was a big enough buck to justify shooting. (I am not terribly selective, but I generally do prefer to shoot deer with a few years under their belt, regardless of gender or antler size.)

Right about sunset, it got real magical on the edge of that cornfield. I was thinking about dinner at a local watering hole and wondering if my dad was seeing deer. I sat thinking surely there's one more deer I can shake out of these woods, if I could just hear a branch break behind me right now I'd be in business. And then I did.

The bowl in the cornfield has a drain feature that pulls the terrain towards the creek. That drain is full of wild olives and goldenrod and it screams "Big Buck Field Entrance #1." I knew if he came, he was coming up that drain. I heard him walking up the drain and so did the little buck, who by now is about 120 yards away. His body language told me to get ready for a buck appearance. The new buck eased out into the field not far from little man. I sized up his antlers in the fading light and knew he was a shooter for me. I threw my rifle up, my dad's. 270 because I'm short on ammo for my 7 mag and because I had a good trip with that rifle hunting pronghorn last year. Laid the crosshairs on his shoulder with a creamsicle sky blossoming out behind him and proceeded to cold miss the buck at 120ish yards. Both bucks did a little dance around at the shot and then stood looking around in confusion.

I almost panicked. Now I couldn't tell who was who with my naked eye! Had to look through my binos and study them both to differentiate. The bigger buck was tricky to pick out but I was able to in a few seconds and lined up a shot. At this shot he hit the ground and the little buck left the field with a sense of urgency that any Olympic sprinter would envy. Bless his heart, I thought he was coming up my tree stand ladder. Adrenaline washed over me at this point, I was a trembling mess climbing down to go look at my deer. Walking to him I felt the joy of a successful hunt swelling in my chest and the tinge of sadness at one less buck in the world settling down on my shoulders.

My dad's headlights began to cut into the darkness as he eased his truck around the field edge. He heard multiple shots and assumed I was reducing the pig population and was hot footing it over to check me out. I think he was even more excited than I was when his headlights washed over me and the buck in the corn stubble.

Quick McDonald's run and a two hour drive home put him on the skinning rack at my little brother's house. I've never killed a deer on opening day, and had never hunted that property before. Considering those facts and the way my buck entered the field just as a thousand mental fantasies said he would, I could not have drawn up a better hunt. I'm glad I started this thread because this season is certainly shaping up to be a memorable one.
 

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CORN

Active member
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
91
Location
Colorado Springs CO
What a buck!! That's an awesome harvest, didn't realize Georgia had bucks like that.

You ever try quartering a buck in the field with the gutless method? Even without much experience it's pretty easy to get done in 1.5 hours in the field, much quicker than that once you've done it a time or two. In the past two seasons I've taught 3 first time hunters how to quarter deer with the gutless method and they all cut up their second animals on their own while I was out hunting. Might be something you could look in to that would keep you from being up all night next time?

Or maybe I'm wrong, don't have any experience with the east coast style of taking the animal home whole. May be way easier than it sounds. Either way though that's a beautiful animal, wall hanger for sure!
 

RobertD

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
66
What a buck!! That's an awesome harvest, didn't realize Georgia had bucks like that.

You ever try quartering a buck in the field with the gutless method? Even without much experience it's pretty easy to get done in 1.5 hours in the field, much quicker than that once you've done it a time or two. In the past two seasons I've taught 3 first time hunters how to quarter deer with the gutless method and they all cut up their second animals on their own while I was out hunting. Might be something you could look in to that would keep you from being up all night next time?

Or maybe I'm wrong, don't have any experience with the east coast style of taking the animal home whole. May be way easier than it sounds. Either way though that's a beautiful animal, wall hanger for sure!
Corn, you'd be surprised at some of the deer we have, especially in the Southwestern quadrant of the state. If you have an area with hardwood creek/river bottomland mixed with peanut and/or corn fields, you can count on some pretty gnarly bucks to be around.

Re: the gutless method, it's something I need to learn honestly but this situation was more influenced by my dad's desire to get him McFish samdwhich and get home to his recliner. Hahaha. I should make a minor correction too, we did gut the buck onsite. Wouldn't drive further than a few miles without doing that.

Plus us eastern boys like to hang one by his feet, so we can get to skinning with some music playing and a cold one somewhere near by ;)

Oh and thanks. I did wind up deciding to shoulder mount him.
 

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