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Hunting Report

Long story short: There will probably be no venison on the menu on Thanksgiving, unless I fill a tag ala Ambulance Driver.

Girlie Bear and I made our yearly trip out to the wilds of Fort Knox to participate in the annual draw hunt this weekend.  This is my seventh year doing it, and Girlie Bear’s third.   I had hoped that she would be able to carry her new rifle for the hunt, but I asked her to hold off another year so that she could practice more with it and have a better chance of making an ethical kill.  We joined with Hunting Buddy and his daughter, who was also making her third trip out.

Our assigned hunting area was right against the southern boundary of post, and was some truly pretty country.  Not much flat land, and certainly no large open areas, but except for some very steep hollers around the creeks, it was just wooded land with gentle inclines.

The first morning, we went to the southern end of our area and staked out an area above a creek.  It was about 35 degrees with little wind when we got out there, but warmed up quite a bit once the sun came up.  We settled in and waited, and it wasn’t much past sun-up that we heard several shots being taken.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see anything before we decided to pack up and head back to the truck for lunch at 11.  Note to self – Walking along a creek bed might be a good idea if you’re young and strong, but when you’re old and fat, you have to remember that every foot down a steep grade you walk will mean a foot you have to walk back up if you find that going down the creek bed isn’t going to work.

Lunch this year, as I mentioned yesterday, was MRE’s.  Girlie Bear still thinks they’re a treat.  I offered some to Hunting Buddies daughter, but she politely declined.  Guess there’s no accounting for taste, but then she might be the smarter one in this discussion.

That afternoon we decided to try our luck on the other side of our area. which went from hardwoods on soft earth to cedars growing out of limestone outcrops.  Again, we followed a creek bed until we found an open area and squatted down in a bunch of cedars.  Again, we didn’t see hide nor hair of the horned beast, but had a good afternoon being quiet and occasionally talking softly.  We walked out around 3 and headed to the truck because we have to check out with our area guide by 5, and there’s no sense in shooting a deer when you will only have a couple of hours to look for it, gut it, and drag it to the truck.  On the way out we saw several rubs and scrapes, and lots of droppings.  However, the droppings were badly decomposed and looked to be at least a week old.  We also found several old ammo containers that said “Ammunition, Caliber .30, Blank” on the side and a pile of the metal end caps from the shipping tubes for 3.5 inch rockets.  I left those alone, but it was kind of neat to show them to Girlie Bear so she could know how long the military had been using the area.

Hunting Buddy and his daughter had a little better luck than we did.  They reported that as they sat on opposite sides of a tree, his daughter had a doe walk about 20 yards away from her.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t armed and her dad couldn’t get around the tree to take a shot without spooking the deer.

Hunting Buddy and his daughter didn’t go hunting on Sunday due to family constraints.  Girlie Bear and I headed out bright and early and went back to the area we had hunted the day before.  When we checked in with our area guide, he showed me pictures of the large 13 point buck one of the other hunters had gotten about 1/4 of a mile from where we had hunted the morning before, so I had hope for the morning.

We settled down a hundred yards or so away from where we had been the day before, and got comfortable.  Again, the weather was pretty much perfect:  dry, chilly, and no real wind.   We sat until lunchtime and pretty much just watched the squirrels.  Mr. and Mrs. Whitetail were apparently at church this Sunday.

During our walk out, we found some  old .30 brass and several clips from M-1 Garands on the ground, which after showing them to Girlie Bear, I left where they were.

We also came across some bones.  I’m pretty sure the leg bones are from deer, but I’m not sure about the skull.  That ridge on the back for muscles to attach to doesn’t look right for a deer, but it’s not hog or coyote either.  Anyone out there have any ideas?

So, overall, not a bad weekend.  Yes, I’d have liked to have pulled a deer out of those woods, but I got to spend two days with my daughter without cell phones, puppies, or little brothers.  I won’t have too many more of those days, so I’m going to enjoy them while I can.

Rifle, clothing, and other gear: About $1000

Hunting license, deer tags, and fees to get in the drawing for the hunt – About $100

This smile after spending a day in the woods with your daughter: Priceless

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4 Comments

  1. MaddMedic

     /  November 19, 2012

    heh…Is a good thing to hunt with ones Kin..
    Dad @ 81 #2 Son @ 18 are my favorite hunting partners and although we did see a couple no chance to shoot as I am from the Hunt/Shoot school. Not Shoot/Hunt school.

    Oh…what the heck is are ‘very steep hollers’?

  2. The visible bones are all deer. The skull is a female, at least 2 years old, probably 3, from what I could see of the fusion of the frontal/parietal sutures.

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