An Interesting Encounter

There is a little place I like to bow hunt from the ground.  It is on thick public land, an there is really no sense in trying to hang a stand.  I hunt there on occasion, and have had some success in rattling in some small bucks.  I have yet to see a big one.

The other day, I had some time to kill, so I thought I’d walk in and do a little rattling to see if there were any takers.  Everything felt right about that morning.

I snuck in quietly along the river’s sandy banks and up into the timber edge where I knew I had good cover and a couple shooting lanes.  As always, I sprinkled a little doe urine in my vicinity before I hit the horns

You really have to get the picture here.  I sit one a small bow blind stool.  I lay my bow on the ground to rattle, and then quickly pick it up and knock my loop in case a buck comes running.  On this occasion, it wasn’t long before I heard the rustling of foot steps in the leaves of the timber floor.  The only problem was that they were coming from behind me.

I sat on my little stool, frozen like a statue.  My heart pounded.  I felt both excitement, and fear.  I’ve see the reports of people getting attacked by bucks all ‘roided out on the rut.  As the sound grew closer, I couldn’t take it any more.

I whipped around on my stool in a defensive posture, and what did I see?  The cutest little Bobcat kitten staring back at me.  He was only a few feet away.  I thought, “Wow, what a cute little kitten”.  Then, however, I noticed his Mom.  She was not so amused at me being there.  The kitten took for cover, and the Mom sat and growled.  Though I wasn’t overly concerned , this was a confrontation I did not want to have.  I softly talked her out of doing anything stupid, and away she went.

I felt relieved when the Bobcats scurried away, so I continued my hunt.  Not for long though.  Every sound I heard from behind me made me nervous.  I couldn’t focus on the hunt, so I packed it up for the day.

Bow hunting from the ground is not the most practical way to hunt.  It can be pretty darn interesting when you have such close encounters with wild life, but take caution.  Close encounters with wild life can be dangerous.  I just happened to luck out this time.


A Fun Little Morning

November is a tough time for the Iowa Outdoorsman.  Deer are up on their feet, and ducks generally show up with every Northwest wind.  When you have some time, its tough to decide what to do.  I had some time off one morning this week and decided to give ducks a whirl.

Tuesday had some decent North winds, and Wednesday morning had a low in the 30’s.  Though it was calm, I had a good feeling about duck hunting.  When I pulled up to the place I wanted to hunt and saw I was the only one there, I had an even better feeling.

The ducks started flying shortly before shooting time.  The sky was full!  I was especially excited to see Mallards.

The first group of Mallards did not want to play.  Neither did the second group.  The Green Wings, on the other hand, were all about it.  The first group of Teal came in perfectly.  I laid into them and dropped 2.  I felt pretty good about that since I shot once.

As my dogs were collecting the birds, a small group of Mallards came over, bowed up!  I though there was no way they’d come close with dogs coming out of the water, but they did.  A 2nd shot later and a 3rd duck.  10 minutes in, and I was 1/2 way to a limit.  Then, the ducks stopped flying.  The skies were empty.

I sat for 20 minutes wondering if it was going to be a short morning.  Before complete discouragement set in, a group of Gadwalls made an appearance.  Much to my dismay, they were not your typical Gadwalls.  Either that, or I suck at calling.  It might have been the latter.  They came and went without giving me a shot.

As time passed, the ducks became fewer and further between.  I was excited for a few ducks, but a little disappointed they died out so fast.  One final group of Green Wings gave me a chance at one more for the grill before the morning was over.

It was a fun little morning.  Crisp, cool, autumn air accompanied by clear blue skies make whatever you are doing outside fun.  I just happened to have been lucky enough to be shooting ducks.