Home, sweet home

Mike RaykoviczWe returned to the states earlier this month after two weeks in Europe visiting a friend. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity; one I just couldn’t turn down despite my having to miss the opening week of bow season in both New York and Pennsylvania. Needless to say the scenery in both Italy and France was beautiful, but as far as I was concerned it didn’t compare to what we have here in New York. The drive from Philadelphia to Vestal was pleasant and the fall colors were gorgeous. Seeing them made me appreciate where I live even more and the hunting opportunities I have.

Since we arrived home late Saturday evening I figured I’d get some rest and then hunt Sunday afternoon (Oct. 7) on a friend’s farm. Even though there was a light drizzle I got into my stand early and was pleased to be in familiar surroundings. This was my first time bowhunting since last fall and the hours passed quickly. As the sun set and evening came on, no deer appeared so I lowered my bow and walked a short distance to check the trail camera I left to monitor the location while I was gone. After arriving home I stuck the media card into my computer to see if any deer were passing anywhere near my stand and I wasn’t disappointed in what I saw. From the photos I could discern at least six different bucks moving past my stand site. Most were in the dead of night but at least I knew the deer were there.

Monday morning I decided to head south to check my Pennsylvania stands and to remove the media card from the trail camera I set up there. The card showed that in the previous two weeks several bucks passed through and the site looked promising so I decided to hunt Monday evening there as well. Again, no deer appeared near my stand so it was back to New York for the Tuesday morning hunt. At about 8 a.m. a spike buck came out of the woods and headed directly to the mock scrape I made on Sunday. The scrape was about 15 yards from my stand and it was interesting to watch the young buck paw the ground, urinate in the ersatz scrape and rub his face on the licking branch above. The buck moved on and I stayed another two hours but nothing further showed up. I climbed down from the tree and removed the media card from the camera.

Arriving home, I grabbed a slice of toast and some milk and shoved my media card into my computer. I couldn’t wait to see what went on while I was hunting in Pennsylvania the previous evening. When the photos loaded I was stunned by what I saw. Normally, I’m pleased when my camera captures a single buck within shooting range, but this time I could clearly make out six bucks, all within 20 yards of my stand. There was a nine point, two eight points, a five point, and two forkhorns all milling about in easy shooting range. It was a great welcome back and now it remains to be seen if any of these deer show up while I’m perched in my stand bow at the ready. Stay tuned. 

Categories: New York – Mike Raykovicz

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