My favorite hunting buddy and I went hunting this weekend in eastern Colorado. We went to an area where we have often hunted Dove, Duck and Antelope but never Deer. This area is only two hours away and we have our own little private camping spot courtesy of a good friend. We can pack up the camper and have some quality outdoor time together. This last weekend we were even lucky enough to get a way in time to do some scouting the night before the season started. We were surrounded on all sides by corn and alfalfa fields, providing the deer good coverage for bedding with good food and water close at hand. We spent the last hours of daylight walking between the various fields where the landowner said he had seen deer just a couple of night ago. What did we see? Coyote tracks, lots of coyote tracks. We saw various other critters’ tracks, raccoon, pheasant, mice- but not a single deer track deer. The smell of fresh cut alfalfa filled our grateful lungs and we saw a glorious sunset full of neon pink, bright turquoise and burnt orange, but that didn’t quite make up for the disappointment of not seeing a single deer or deer track.
Next morning despite the lack of deer sign I decided to watch the sun rise and see if the deer would come to the farmer’s corn and alfalfa from state wildlife refuge bordering the farmer’s land. I got rewarded by a fabulous sunrise, the song of waking coyotes and a pheasant taking a stroll along the corn field. Unfortunately not a single deer joined the morning pageant. We decided to move to the Wildlife Refuge and walk the promising habitat and look for deer sign. We spent the rest of the morning walking miles and miles through football sized fields of Cockle-burs, Sunflowers and other cling-on weeds and we succeeded in finding a secluded area with lots of deer sign. It was a spot where deer were traveling between their bedding and food source and were funneling through the only spot where they could cross a large irrigation ditch. My evening hunt would be spent hidden in the wild grass waiting for deer to cross my path. Three hours of sitting and not a single deer crossed my path. While I was watching for deer from my spot, my favorite hunting buddy was walking over some more potential deer habitat and saw lots of excellent deer sign. We went to bed that night confident we had finally found the deer anticipating a successful hunt the next morning.
4AM we woke to the depressing sound of heavy rainfall. We kept waiting for the rain to stop but by 10 AM decided this hunt was over. This is one of the few times we’ve let the weather beat us. Our hunt was still successful for many reasons. We got to spend quality time together in the outdoors. Our souls and spirit were refueled and we located a new excellent area to hunt again. Next time no more Coyotes or Cockle-burs, just fine Colorado Mule Deer. Hope is eternal to hardcore hunters.
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