|Looking for deer stands where there should be duck blinds|
|Name that duck!!|
For hunters you know what sort of challenges this presents. Most people hunt in groups, usually families and most certainly life long buddies. The also tend to pick areas, stake a claim and hunt them traditionally and religiously year after year.
That said, our challenge was multi-layered. While there is certainly enough space out there for all of us, space starts to get really limited when you put it under the lens of deer hunting. What that means is that you need to both find a place you can get to easily and efficiently, and you also need a place where in the event you actually shoot a deer, you can get it out easily. Most hunters are never more than 200 or so yards from their modes of transportation, and to most hunters these days that means a truck or an ATV. The main point however is that a deer is a big thing that you need to haul out after you shoot it. Also, most deer are shot at dawn or at dusk and in both cases you are either entering or exiting the woods in the dark, so you want to be able to get out and in fairly simply.
So you can see the issue, all those spots are spoken for and to walk into that with little to no scouting time, to both know if a deer even lives where your going and to make sure your not screwing up a fellow hunter or worse yet setting up to have hunters walk in on you is really, really tough.
My uncle has been hunting a spot really close to the cabin during the late deer season for years and he decided to go back there.
That spot is tight, so I decided to move on to some other ideas I had. That being of canoeing into my stand. This in itself presents a whole hosts of challenges. Darkness, paddling in the darkness, ice, cold, where to put the deer if you shoot it? That is just the start. In reality you are truly backcountry hunting at that point and to be even more honest, that is by far my favorite type of hunting. So I took my canoe and on Tuesday last week and Friday before the season I paddled some awesome country, saw a ton of ducks, shot a few and found perhaps the prettiest deer hunting spot I have had in many years. The big question though, was there any deer?
The coolest part of this process was that I was able to literally see the fall migration of ducks, swans and geese come through. Every river and puddle I checked out had myriads of mallards. It was really cool to be in the boat, thinking of deer hunting and at the same time hunting ducks, perhaps my favorite thing ever....