Saturday, July 15, 2006

day 9

It's going to get boring reading these accounts if I don't kill one of these deer one of these days.

Went out last night again for two hours; got there at 7 pm, left around 9. Nothing. The highlight, however, was putting up a brood of very young grouse as I drove into the driveway near the winery building. There were six or seven of them feeding in a bunch of summer grape right next to the driveway, and I got excellent looks at them. No tails on those buggers yet.

Mrs. Z. went biking this morning, so that was out. It was a ninety degree day in the shade, though, and after a long day of heat what better way to cool off than to go deer sniping. Yeah right.

As I pulled into the parking lot tonight (about 6:40 or so), of course I see a deer in the tall grass about 80 yards off (I paced it later), and the deer saw me. Turning the engine off, I looked around near him and saw another larger deer feeding under an overhanging tree right on the woods edge. The first one turned and went back into the woods, taking the second one with it. I stayed in the truck for quite some time, and maybe twenty minutes later a third deer about 100 yards away moved out of the grapes into the woods. So that was that.

I got tired of sitting and waiting in the truck, so I got out and did a bit of hiking--downhill first, then north across the creek, then back uphill to the east through the woods where the grouse had flown into last night. Saw lots of deer trails, an old deer stand out in the woods with a rusty (and sturdy) metal folding chair, and more deer trails.

I came out of the woods fairly well steaming (it was about 85 degrees and fairly humid), but I decided to make a loop around the vineyard to see if I could stumble across any deer in the grapes. I didn't see anything, but when I got to the last row next to the driveway I was able to see the main deer trail out of the woods that the deer are traveling. From there I further figured out what they're seeing in terms of where I park the truck, and I got some ideas of how to hide the truck a bit more but still see down the grape rows to try and spot them before they disappear into the grapes. I'll try that setup one of these evenings.

Anyway, all in all it was a fairly sweaty night. I did see three deer, but they were pretty far off and obscured by vegetation. Probably not much chance of getting out there again for another couple of days, although tomorrow night may happen, who knows. At any rate, those are the confessions of a deer sniper.


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