I am not a fan of crowds, pushing, fighting and hunting for the best deals at a local store. I much prefer the comfy, padded seat of my Advanced Takedown Treestand. Just me, my Mathews Halon 6, Black Eagle Zombie Slayers and my Grim Reaper Broadheads waiting for a nice buck to walk by. I prefer the peace and quiet over the chaos of Black Friday shopping.
Black Friday for many people is a time to buy the best Christmas gifts for their loved ones. I have never been a fan of Black Friday from a shopping aspect but I love to archery hunt if I still have a tag for Ohio. This year my wife had to work, so my ticket to hunt was punched. I reached out to my mother-in-law about my children staying at her house after Thanksgiving dinner and she gladly agreed to have them stay the night. I was set. All I needed was to secure a place to hunt.
Andy is a friend of mine who owns a few hundred acres in Ashtabula County, Ohio. His family has been managing the property for about 10 years to support a healthy deer herd. I have had the privilege of hunting this property a few times and have had success. I reached out to Andy before Thanksgiving about hunting his place on Black Friday. He was fine with me hunting and even pointed out a place where he had been seeing a few mature bucks still chasing does.
November 25, 2016, Black Friday was going to be a great day. The weather forecast was calling for temps in the low 40’s with overcast skies. My alarm went off at 4:30 am and I started my pre-hunt morning rituals that started with a shower with Nature’s Essence Products. Clean and scent free had a nice breakfast, packed a lunch and headed out the door. I always pack my truck the night before including my scent free hunting clothes so I can change once I get to my hunting spot. I was excited to see the temperature was 28 degrees. The anticipation for the hunt was great as Andy had raised my hopes with talk of mature bucks he had been seeing.
The 75 minute drive went fast and I arrived at Andy’s place well before shooting light. I dressed quietly, grabbed my bow, backpack, put on my headlamp and was off to the stand. Andy had me go to one of the furthest stands on the property that was on an elevated finger between two swamps. I arrived at the stand, hung 3 Buck Cages loaded with Nature’s Essence Triple Threat Urine, attached my Treestand Wingman to the Lifeline and quietly climbed the 15 foot ladder stand. I hung my pack and bow up and sprayed down with Essence of Fall cover scent, placed a Zombie Slayer on the string and was ready for the hunt to begin.
I could hear deer running in the swamps on both sides of me. The sun was rising and I could hear turkeys calling softly not far away. As the sun rose, the temperatures dropped and I could see my breath. My thoughts drifted to large racked bucks chasing does through the swamp and up onto the finger I was watching. With two tags in my pocket, I was hoping to either fill an antlerless tag or my buck tag.
The sun crested the trees and geese could be seen and heard as they entered the swamp to my left. I enjoy seeing all kinds of animals when I hunt as it certainly helps the time go by while I wait for the action to start. I was getting a little stumped as to why I had yet to see any deer. I could hear them running in the swamp but could not see them. 9:00 a.m., and I had yet to see a deer. My phone vibrated again, there were about 10 texts on it, all from my wife. I read through them quickly, replied then turned my phone off and placed it back into my pocket.
Phone off and in my pocket, I saw movement to my left. I couldn’t make out whether it was a buck or doe but I knew it was a deer. I listened as it walked into the swamp. I hoped it would walk back out so I kept scanning the area carefully. Nothing. Another flock of geese loudly came into the swamp and I began to doubt that the day was going to be great. I was thinking I was going to be in the stand for a long sit.
Tomorrow: Black Friday Buck – Part 2