Where are the deer?

November 12, 2009

Faith Outdoors

When it comes to deer hunting, it’s always hard to know what to expect when you sit in your stand opening day. I had a feeling this year might be tough, but I never imagined the kind of results that I and my two oldest sons have had.

Between the three of us, hunting on different properties near Red Wing, we saw just one deer all weekend. Andy got a shot at a small, antlerless deer Saturday morning. He hit it, but we were not able to recover the deer. That is always painful.

Meanwhile, my son, Joe, and I did not see a deer all day, or on Sunday. In both places, there was standing corn, and it’s natural to conclude that most, if not all, of the deer were in the corn. In fact, when I talked to the landowner where I hunt last night, his comment was, “the deer are in the corn, laughing.”

He might be right. We have taken a total of four deer off of his property during the last three seasons and have seen more than that. But, this year, nothing. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, but I don’t have any answers. The season where we hunt, Zone 3, lasts until sundown on Sunday. I’m going to call the landowner Saturday to see if his corn is down. If so, I may try to get out Sunday evening. Spilled corn from a freshly harvested field is a magnet to deer.

That will be my last hope for tagging a deer in Minnesota. The good news is, next weekend our family leaves for Montana, where we will spend the entire week of Thanksgiving. I have two tags, one an either-sex license for either a whitetail or mule deer, and the other an antlerless whitetail license.

There are lots of deer in Montana and we saw quite a few last year, so I’m confident I’ll have a good chance to fill both tags. And, Joe and Andy each have special youth licenses good for both an either-sex whitetail or mulie and an either-sex elk. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be bringing home some elk meat.

One thing is almost certain — this journey should be more fruitful than our Minnesota hunt.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek