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Thread: Archery opener in the Arkansas Ozarks...

  1. #1

    Archery opener in the Arkansas Ozarks...

    Our Archery season opened here in Arkansas last Saturday....I was up at our 40 in the Ozarks doing some chores on Thursday and Friday and intended to hunt the weekend... When I got up there it was hot and dry and the deer sign was not as thick as it had been... But, before daylite on Saturday, I slipped out of the camp and when up onto the hill behind camp and climbed into an old ladder stand to wait, and see.... It was a pleasant the sun began to come up, the crows were pestering a hapless owl or hawk in the distance, and the blue jays were arguing amongst themselves, above me the leaves were rustling as the squirrels mined the hickory trees for nuts in the canopy....typical early fall morning. I watched the shooting lanes,

    but no deer appeared. About 9am, I heard a soft swish behind me and down the hill to the right....I got reorganized. I had visions of a big buck, for in this exact spot last year during the muzzleloader season, my wife was beset with buck fever when a huge buck appeared, so rattled she was that she could not get her gun up...the big buck, who she has since named "Oscar" just melted away into the woods. So, I sat there, waiting for Oscar, watching his trail....where it crossed my shooting lane on the right.

    Bugger never did show up....but as I studied the shooting lane, I saw a dark stump on the trail about 50yds from the stand...looked at it with my rangefinder...and found that it had ears with black and white tips... Aha...there in front of me had appeared a bobcat. I squeaked at him sucking on the back of my hand, he turned immediately and looked right at me...but he didn't make any effort to come closer..and eventually he just trotted off up the road on to my neighbor's property... Seeing that cat was interesting enough to satisfy me, so in a bit I climbed down out of my perch,

    and wandered back to camp for some eggs and coffee.....
    Later I went to another stand and sat until dark...the woods were pretty quiet except for the occasional squirrel rustling deer to be seen. And...It was hot. The thought entered my mind that if I killed a deer it would be a chore dealing with it in the heat... After mulling things over a bit, I decided that I really wasn't interested in killing a deer, just is too I went back to camp in the deer were disturbed by my passing....
    Next morning before daylight, I sat on the porch at camp drinking coffee and watching the sun make its was a lovely morning. Across from camp, at the end of the big food plot, 200yds away, a doe and fawn came out to feed. I was content to watch.. The sun climbed a bit higher and a buck came out and began to chase the doe...eventually he ran her and the fawn out of the plot! By now I was armed with my binos and camera....and he surprised me... He began to feed across the plot toward the camp, then down the hill, then he crossed the drain and began feeding up the hill toward me....

    He was a legal buck, as he had the requisite 3 points on one side of his antlers...but he was a fine young deer that needs to grow for a year or two.....
    He continued to feed up the hill until he was within 30yds of me...

    He fed around infront of me for a while, then fed down into the field and started to head toward the stand I had sat in the previous morning...

    When he got up the hill a ways, and behind the truck he finally winded me, and trotted on up the hill to the neighbors place... I got up and got another cup of coffee..and decided to sit a bit longer.
    It really had been a good archery opener! As a few others have noted, you really don't always have to kill something to have a great hunt...

  2. #2
    great write up zee,captured the essence of we we go out.and a very lucky buck who,l come back next year to visit your larder .atb

  3. #3
    nice write up, thanks

  4. #4
    lovely pictures and thanks for the read. Your'e right of course there's as much enjoyment to be had without killing anything, but your belly rumbles in the evening without a nice steak. Which tastes a whole lot better if you shot it yourself. Hope you have a good season.

  5. #5
    Woodmaster, You are correct...if my freezer was not still well stocked with elk and deer from last season, my intentions certainly would have been different.


  6. #6
    Nice write up and great pics, thanks!

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