Back to hunting ducks during deer season
For more than 20 years, I wasn’t much of a deer hunter because of my allegiance to my duck dogs. When Nov. 15 rolled around, it was another day to hunt ducks, not deer.
Then, several years ago, I found myself without dogs and got back into deer hunting again. It was fun. I had missed it.
For the most part, I hunted with my dad on his property in the Thumb. It is old farm land that holds a good number of deer, as well as cottontail rabbits, fox squirrels and coyotes. It once was home to more pheasants and even a few grouse and woodcock, but it is rare to see them there anymore. There is a growing population of turkeys, and when the sun rises on opening day, it isn’t unusual to hear their yelps among the calls of migrating Canada geese and tundra swans headed for Saginaw Bay or the St. Clair Flats.
I’ve only shot one deer in my life, and it was on that property. I had close calls nearly every year, and if I’d wanted to shoot a doe it would have been relatively easy. I missed a small buck when my slug hit a tree one year and I cut a little bit of hair from a massive 10-point two years before I shot a dandy 8-point. He had a broken antler tip and notches in his ears from run-ins with other neighborhood bachelors.
This year, Dad sold his house, and while we could have still hunted the property, it just wouldn’t have been the same.
So, I stayed home and hunted ducks again.
We’ll see what next year brings.