Thankful Outdoors: Outdoor Journal Weekend Camp
What a change in weather, the fall colors are now laying on the ground, trees are rather bare looking, and snowstorms moved into the area. The camp this weekend was going to be small; it would consist of Corey, his friend Micah, Boone, and myself.
October 16th – Snow comes, and Micah sees ten deer
The tradition of Corey and Micah bowhunting together started about four years ago. Micah had been a long time rifle hunter, and he had asked Corey if he could help him get started in bowhunting.
Micah is an Orientation and Mobility Instructor for the blind and visually impaired; with his job, he can get a long weekend sometimes due to days off slotted into the school schedule. Corey and Micah started the weekend off by getting out to hunt Friday morning.
They were hoping the deer would be looking to feed heavily on the acorns; that didn’t happen, though. The Friday morning hunt was just spent relaxing in the tree watching the woods. The ground got covered by a little dusting of snow overnight. There is a neat feeling of sitting in the first snowfall of the year. Watching the woods take the transformation from fall to winter is very peaceful!
The snow that fell overnight did melt throughout the day, but then it started with some flurries during Friday evening. Corey was only able to watch the snowflakes fall and watch the squirrels run around, gathering the acorns.
Micah, on the other hand, had an exciting sit on Friday night; he saw ten deer while sitting that night and was able to get a shot off, but he missed the deer.
Boone and I showed up in camp that night to have supper with the guys and hear about their stories in the woods, which didn’t include many deer except for the ten deer in one sit.
October 17th – More snow and no deer
Saturday morning, I woke before the alarm went off, got the fire started back up in the woodstove so coffee could be made. The morning just felt like it would be a good one; it felt good to get up early, I was putting gear together, and the temperature outside felt like it would be a great morning to be in the woods.
As I finish loading gear into the truck and pull out of camp, the snowflakes start to fall. By the time I had reached the parking spot, the snowflakes had grown into big white flakes that were covering the ground quickly.
I started the journey towards the stand; as I got to the tree I had planned on sitting, I realized that I had lost my release on the walk-in. I had a spare back in the truck, so I started my walk back as I looked for the one I had dropped. I tried to backtrack my steps left in the fresh snow, but by the time I neared the truck, my footsteps were covered by the snow that was still falling. The release was now lost in the woods.
This morning had turned from one that had a good feeling to now one that felt rushed and hectic; I hurried back to the tree and climbed into the perch as it was just starting to get light out. I reminded myself just to relax and that this little frustration of losing gear was no big deal. At least it was the weekend, and I wasn’t working, is what I told myself.
The morning had passed, and the grumbles in the stomach said it was time to get back to camp for some grub. Corey and Micah did not see any deer that morning, either. After breakfast, we had to run to town to get LP for Corey’s camper and gas for his generator. His camping experience is not rustic as the outfitter tent!
We made the stop at the spring for water; we road hunted along the way. A grouse had crossed the road, and we watched it land in the woods, Boone and I headed in after it. The flush did not present a shot.
Micah had spotted a deer down in a valley, but that opportunity did not present a stalk either as I struggled on seeing where the heck the deer was standing. I had to watch it walk off into the forest before I had realized where it was standing.
Now that we had our errands run in town, it was time to head back to the woods. I had a group of turkey come walking through, and I saw two other hunters come down a logging trail that was all the movement that I had seen in the woods that night.
October 18th – A day in the woods fills the soul
With such a lack of deer movement, I had decided that Sunday would be a day spent with Boone. He needed to be worked in the woods, and he was eager to get after the birds. Corey and Micah were going to head out after deer again.
Boone and I stayed in camp, ate breakfast, and waited for Corey and Micah to get back from their morning sit-in case they needed help getting a deer out of the woods. They returned to camp with their quivers full of arrows again.
As they made breakfast, we made some clips on promoting the products for EZ Kut Products. The camp needed some wood coasters for the cast iron pans, so this video shoot was a fun little project.
Boone and I took off from camp to hunt the area right by base camp and told the guys we would be back in about an hour; as we arrived back in camp, we had visitors. Mom and Dad stopped in, and so did my friend Matt. This Sunday morning visit from them is starting to become a Sunday morning tradition. After spending some time talking and having coffee, Boone and I got ready to head out to continue our afternoon adventure exploring the woods.
Dad was able to harvest a grouse as he was leaving camp, he brought it back, and we ran a quick training session with Boone. With Boone being such a young dog, I take any opportunity I can get to get him around real birds.
The afternoon soon got away on Boone and me as I explored an old area that I had hunted years ago. Not only had it been years since I had been in this area, but there was also no sign of any other hunters walking the old trail either. I couldn’t even find the original path that I had used to get into this area.
I soon found myself almost a mile off the road and was flushing birds and finding good deer sign; I plugged spots into the Garmin to hunt in upcoming weekends. The sun was setting as Boone, and I reached the road. Boone had jumped up into the passenger seat, and my four-legged friend was soon asleep as we drove back home.
Weekends like this reminded me that I don’t get into the outdoors to fill tags or the freezer. Instead, I filled my soul with relaxing moments, along with emptying the stress of everyday life.
In closing, I hope you find a way to get into the outdoors, create your adventure and memories, but most importantly, find a way to “Celebrate the Experience.” Go check out www.thankfuloutdoors.com for more content and share your “Celebrate the Experience” moment with us!
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