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I go on a business trip for three days, go hunt a few deer, and look what happens...geez.

But I see Mark W quit first, so at least that's out of the way...

Eric and Steve S., good job.

I did not hunt the Arkansas duck opener for the first time in many years. Took a trip to Texas to visit Mom, sister, and month-old niece on the opening weekend of our gun deer season, so hunted deer on the duck opener. Two friends of mine from college usually host Laura and I on the opener, but the Texas trip meant this past weekend was the only one we could work out to go try and kill a deer or two with the holidays, duck season, and other obligations.

Laura killed a 9-point at about 8:30 Saturday morning; she passed on him the first time he showed up at 7:15, but when he came back and started chasing a doe around the food plot, she made the decision to down him. He was within about 30 yards at one point, but moving quickly, and Laura couldn't get a good shot on him. He walked away from the stand to our right, and I figured he would be right back into the woods and gone. He stopped about 80-85 yards out, then turned broadside. I heard Laura breathe in, then out, and kept my eyes on the buck. The old .30/.06 Springfield spoke, and the deer collapsed on the spot, kept his head up for about 5-10 seconds, rolled over and stuck his feet straight out. Then the real work started for me....the "CSI" post-mortem showed that the bullet had struck and glanced into the spine. The spine shattered downward doing even more damage to the heart and lungs than the initial bullet strike.

Rather than take two bucks off of the property, I held out for a big, fat doe to put in the freezer. Didn't see anything Saturday evening in the high winds except a small 4-point, and two or three yearlings. Sunday morning found us back on the same stand from Saturday morning, and as it got daylight, the wind started blowing right down into the rye grass food plot. I passed on a nice 8-point - he got within 25 yards of our stand before he winded us - and didn't see anything other than a spike and a doe/yearling pair. Laura was ready to give me a swift kick in the ass for not taking the buck.

Friend had killed a 5-point Sunday morning that he gave to us, so we still came home with an ice chest full of venison...two quartered deer will get turned into steaks, roasts, hamburger, and summer sausages....interesting thing about his 5-point, though - he shot with a Nosler Partition out of his .270, and the bullet made a very good exit wound, but actually dragged enough of the lung into the exit wound to plug the hole, so there was almost no blood for him to track. His wife shot an 8-point Sunday evening with her .270 and Noslers - bullet made a large wound, and again, the lung plugged it, but this time the bullet failed to pierce the hide and exit...even less blood for tracking. If the deer had not been virtually in plain sight after short runs, tracking would have been extra difficult.

No wild hogs this year, and Laura was sorely disappointed after her 225-pound boar last year. Maybe in February the pigs will come up out of the hardwood flats more...and Laura can go exact a toll with her rifle.

But, now's the time to switch rifle for shotgun, and orange for camo and neoprene waders. Bag the decoys and gas up the boat. I can feel the pull...
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Re: Wow... In reply to
Hey Man!!

I made it down to hunt with Ronnie for your opener. LOTS of water, and lots of birds, but they seemed spooky and spread out. We got two greenheads and two woodrows. Great time though in Arkie!!

When are you getting out to chase feathers?

Congrats on the deer.

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Re: Wow... In reply to

I was really sorry I missed getting to hunt with you...we didn't get to chat a whole lot at the Alabama show, and since Paducah is on the verge of starting construction, I won't be making trips up there as much (dammit).

I'm going out Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Going to probably hit the river and see what's come down...had heard from Ronnie that the birds were pretty well gone, so don't think I'll be headed to the Cache...
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Re: Wow... In reply to
Went scouting yesterday afternoon and found birds in a field right next to the channel. We can't hunt the place they are using, but we can hunt the channel they are using for traveling. The fog was BAD! We couldn't see anything, but made the trip anyway. We traveled three miles in the thick fog without any lights and nothing to guide us but the black tree line silhouetted by the dark purple sky. We wanted to hunt one point, but there was already a blind there with decoys out. We traveled on to another spot and set our spread. The Mallard decoys are only rigged with 12 foot of line so we couldn't use them. The water was at least 20 foot deep here. We strung out long lines of divers figuring we could make it all work. When it started getting daylight the fog started to move out. Pretty wild to look at on the water and see all of the trash we had come through without hitting anything the whole trip.
The birds came in droves. Most passing over us without so much as a look. We managed to coax a few into our spread. We would have done better if we had set-up on another point 50 yards away. The ones that would land in the channel wanted to be where it narrowed and pinoaks were hanging over the water.
We left the decoys at our hide and took a drive up into the channel. We found a place where quite a few birds were loafing. It was a nice spot and right next to the field they were using. They would swing over this area and dump into the field. Mallards and Wood Ducks would use the channel here as acorns were floating about.
We ended the hunt about 0900. Pretty nice day to end so early. We probably could have limited out today if we would have hung around all day. Figure we need to pace ourselves. Don't want to peak too soon so early in the season.

Doc, It was great having you down. Gotta do it again when we get the birds in the trees. You need to tell Rick about my boating adventure in the scout boat.

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SwampHunter: Nov 22, 2006, 2:29 PM