I was not drawn for a deer hunt…again…this year here in New Mexico.
So I headed back to Minnesota where I can buy an OTC (over the counter) non-resident license to hunt white tail deer with my bow. I have made this road trip several times. I know the landscape from Albuquerque to Denver to Lincoln to Des Moines to Albert Lea to Southeastern Minnesota quite well. It was good to be back in the Land of 10000 Lakes with my bow in hand.
Most of the corn was still in the fields during my three day hunt. The moisture content was still around 23% and the farmers prefer to get that down to 15% so as not to incur added costs for drying. Deer will stay in the corn as long as possible…something like a combination “hotel and buffet” where they will feast on the corn and bed down. It makes archery hunting more than a little difficult. When the deer come out of the corn fields, it is usually well after the sun sets.
In the woods where I placed my stand, I only saw a few does and young bucks just as the sun was going down…and much too far away to shoot with an arrow. Thankfully, I was able to get permission to hunt on some nearby land managed by the owner for deer habitat. He allowed me to try my luck for just one evening…and to shoot does only, no bucks.
About an hour before the sun went down, a group of seven does starting making their way toward my stand. I waited for them to get within bow range and took aim at the largest one. It was a clean shot…double lung, pass through. It was good to field dress the deer and drag her back to my truck. It brought back sweet memories of hunts from earlier years in Minnesota, where I was fortunate to put over twenty deer in the freezer for my family to enjoy through the winters.
The long drive back to New Mexico was pleasant as my cooler was full of venison on dry ice that I managed to find across the river in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. So I had no worries about spoilage of all that fresh meat.
Thanksgiving is just one week away. We will prepare a heritage turkey (look it up…thank me later) for the feast…along with some venison for everyone to enjoy. Before you know it, we will be marking the season of Advent and celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord. As winter comes upon us here in High Desert Country, I will thank God for the wonders of creation, the memories made on my most recent hunt, the gift of the Savior and the anticipation that comes with applying for 2015 hunts here in the Land of Enchantment. Hope springs eternal, you know. This could be the year I finally draw for a tag to hunt oryx…and deer in the mountains behind my house!
If not, then my truck knows the way back to the North Star State….