‘Whitetail Fever’ – in Miniature Begins

By: Roy Goodwin

Spent a while packing yesterday, checking everything twice, and then a third time to make sure I had what I needed. With the airlines they way they are now you have to take special care to make sure that you have what you need, while keeping your two bags under the weight limit, or the cost of your flights will go up expectantly. With everything ready I set the alarm for 3:00AM and crashed early.

This morning came quickly! At the sound of the alarm I was off and running. I wanted to leave at 3:45AM to make sure I got to the airport in Providence well before my 6:10 flight time. Good thing I did as the lines at check out ran outside the building, and forty-five minutes went by before my two bags were checked. Two more check points had to be negotiated before heading to the gate, but I made the flight with ten minutes to spare.

From Providence I flew to Chicago, then on to Tulsa. After a pleasant flight (thank you South West) I was picked up at the Airport. My friend, Mark Turner beat me there by five minutes and met me at baggage claim. From the airport we grabbed lunch on the way to a sporting goods store to purchase our deer tags. I already had my 2011 tag and only needed the tag for 2012 that would be used later in the trip. Mark needed them both, and we went to several places before finding one that had the 2011 tag left over…it was tense for a little while wondering what Mark would be doing for five days with no tag!

Tags in hand we headed south to the camp. Actually you can’t call “Dream Chaser” a camp! It is a first class vacation spot with just five very comfortable rooms. Steve arranges for his deer hunters to stay here, which makes the hunt extra special. After getting settled in we shot our bows, had a great dinner and settled in for a good nights rest. Tomorrow the hunt starts in earnest with a 6:00AM breakfast. Anticipation is high with all the tales of big bucks caught on trail cameras over the last two weeks. I hope you all join me for the adventure.

Day 1 – Day one of the hunt is now history!  We all headed out this morning sure that a few big bucks would be taken, but the deer just didn’t co-operate.  I hunted the second blind on “Turkey Creek”, which was the same blind I saw a great “shooter” at last January, but didn’t get a shot.  I had nine deer come in between 8:00 and 10:45 AM this morning, so things were looking good.  Two small spikes and seven does total.  I kept thinking that with all these does around, its only a matter of time before a mature buck shows up, but it wasn’t to be.

Authors Blind on Turkey Creek.

Mark had about the same luck, lots of does in the morning and nothing much happening all afternoon.   Steve is moving Mark and two of the other guys over to the other side of the mountain in the morning.  I’m going to give my blind another try in the morning, but Steve wants me to try another spot in the afternoon unless I am seeing too many deer and just won’t move.

We are all in blinds where good bucks have had their pictures taken in the last week, so it could happen for any, or all, of us tomorrow….

One of the guys that is moving had two border patrol agents walk 20 illegal immigrants by his stand they caught after spotting them from a helicopter this morning.  They never knew the hunter and/or blind was there but it sure did screw up the deer movement for the middle part of the day!

Another guy in the group had a small herd of javalina invade his stand location and clean up all the feed and yet another one was plagued by cattle.  All in all it was a rough first day!

Should be better tomorrow….