Hunting at unpopular times might just tag you out.
It was Oct. 16, 2016. I was acting as a spotter for my wife, who was set up to hopefully take a deer with a crossbow. We were set up in a Rhino ground blind 20 yards from our salt blocks, which sounds like a great way to watch for deer, right?
Unlike many other hunters, though, we began the hunt at 5 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Ohio abolished the archaic laws of the past that prohibited Sunday hunting, but many hunters still don’t hit the woods. We had exclusive permission to hunt on property surrounded by other rural farms and homes. Sunday is the day everyone has parties and tests out their guns, so it can get pretty noisy.
It was 78 degrees outside on this particular evening, warm enough that most deer would be resting, especially with all the sounds of a Sunday afternoon. My wife, armed with an old Horton crossbow that had arrows tipped with the devastating NAP Spitfire Expandable broadheads, waited patiently. Evening was approaching quickly, and after half an hour, our hopes of bagging a deer were beginning to dwindle.
Just as we were about to throw in the towel, however, two does showed up. Weirdly enough, they were coming from the direction of the neighbor’s party.
This was a meat hunt. The lead doe had a lot of weight packed on. The sharp-eyed does stared at us in the blind as they approached. They began to feed on the salt blocks, which allowed my wife to slip a carbon arrow right through the larger doe’s heart. She took a short run, and then we could hear her drop and kick a few times.
This is where the work began, though, as we wouldn’t finish harvesting our winter meat until it was dark.
This was my wife’s first-ever deer harvest, so a couple pictures were certainly in order. But unfortunately, because of the heat and the fading daylight, time was too valuable. However, we did capture the doe on a trail camera.
So what did we learn from hunting at this unpopular time? First of all, anti-Sunday hunting laws are pointless. Hunters need to have as much time as possible to hunt. Second, background noise the animals are used to may have little impact on their movements. Third, hunting on a hot day still offers opportunities.
Why not try hunting at unpopular times?
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.