It's finally October! The mornings are cool and crisp, the leaves are turning colors, and it's time to hunt! I have been out a few times after does and have had a few close encounters. My first time out was at the end of September. I sat on the ground along the edge of an alfalfa field where I knew the deer would pass by. I didn't have enough cover and a few does picked me out of the trees but I had a blast! The next day I came back and built a ground blind determined not to get busted again. About a week later my oldest son joined me and the deer followed the script again. I had several of them within 15 yards but as I drew back my Coyote recurve I got caught and had to slowly let up. I never got a shot but again had a blast. I think next time my son will bring his compound and hopefully get a chance at his first archery kill. He will turn 12 in a few days and has been working at shooting his bow for the past couple of years. He has gotten stronger and a lot more accurate. I have a good feeling that year he will find success.
As I age I find my priorities changing. I never have been a trophy hunter. I don't really care to shoot the biggest deer in the woods, nor do I care about scoring my deer. I hunt to eat, and for the challenge. I hunt for that feeling you get when it all works out and you think your heart is going to beat out of your chest. I hunt for the blood trail. I hunt for the brotherhood of bow hunting. Most recently I hunt to pass it on. I have two sons and both are at the age where they are capable of harvesting big game. My youngest is hoping to get his first deer with my 6.5 Creedmoor this year and my oldest who has a couple of rifle kills is hoping to earn his first archery harvest. I really want to see them be successful. It's not about me anymore, I want to mentor them and teach them all that I have learned. I hope to have the opportunity to drop the string on a doe or even a mature buck but it won't make or break my season if I don't. As long as we can put meat in the freezer and my boys learn about where it comes from and how to be a successful hunter it's a win for me!
The best part of the year is approaching. Don't miss out on it. Keep practicing, keep scouting, but get out and hunt! Make memories, and live life. I am so busy right now that worry about having the time to hunt like I want but I have learned that I just need to make time! You just have to make it a priority and do it. This time of year goes by fast and takes a long time to come back around!