The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Rick Brockway

November 16, 2012

First buck is the one that lasts

I’ve been hanging out in trees for the past few weeks, not that it has done me any good.

You see, bow season has been going on for a while now. It’s funny that I’ve hunted deer on the family farm for more than 50 years and always believed that I had them pretty well figured out by now. Well, at least you’d think so.

I moved my tree stand to a spot that always has been good over the years. It’s in a travel route between the deer’s bedding areas and feeding spots. Usually, there’s a lot of activity with does passing through and bucks soon following. Not this year. I’ve tried all times of the day with the same results — nothing.

Things are different. The deer aren’t using that area since there’s no feed in the woods. When I scouted the area earlier, the deer were feeding on acorns that had fallen from several massive, old, nearly hollow oak trees. But by the time I hunted it, the turkeys, gray squirrels and deer had completely cleaned up the mast crop.

Deer are feeding in the meadows because there’s nothing else to eat.

Late Monday night, the wind blew in tremendous gusts and rain pounded on the roof of my house, so I slept in a little longer than I should have. I was certainly surprised when I woke up and found an inch of fresh snow on the ground.

Since it was way too late to be in my tree stand at daybreak, I waited a while and then took the tractor up the hill. I decided to drive around and see just where the deer were moving.

It paid off. By driving the old logging roads and the edges of the fields, I got a good idea where to hunt this weekend.

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Rick Brockway

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