Due to a previously planned mini-vacation and assorted holiday activities, it took slightly longer than usual for me to get out and hunt with the flintlock. Late archery and flintlock came in state-wide on Dec. 26, but my first day to get out was Jan. 4 – the second Saturday of the 2½-week season.
Shawn and Mike had been out a couple of times between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and both took shots but didn’t connect. I met them at Mike’s house to hunt a piece of nearby property that we always push deer through. It was a cold, blustery morning and the wind whipped a fine dusting of snow in all directions. It was quite unpleasant, actually. Mike and I posted as Shawn walked the first drive. Fortunately, it didn’t take long time-wise because the conditions made it pretty uncomfortable to stand in one place for an extended period. Shawn reported seeing some fresh tracks, but the deer headed away from us. We bailed on this location after seeing the vehicle of another hunter where we had planned to go next. Instead, we collected my uncle and made the 20 minute trip to where I hunt during rifle season.
The first two drives there were uneventful. I spotted one doe, but she was by me so fast I didn’t even have time to lift my gun. The third drive took place on the edge of a large stand of evergreens. My uncle and Shawn walked while Mike posted on the first major shooting lane and I backed him up on a power line 75 yards away. We were positioned so if anything came out of the trees Mike would have the first shot as they emerged and I would get the next chance if they kept moving.
The walkers had barely gotten started when Mike shot. Seconds later, three does bolted across the power line and I let loose a shot from 100 yards away. A laughable cough of snow and dirt erupted from the ground five yards short of the last deer and they continued on their way. I walked down and followed their trail for a bit to confirm there was no blood. There wasn’t.
Apparently four does had come out of the trees and Mike wasted no time putting the biggest one down with a fine shot. She dropped in her tracks. It was his fourth flintlock doe in five years.
We did two more drives to close out the day. Mike saw a nice buck – and he still had his antlered tag – but it wasn’t in range for a shot. Shawn and I would have to wait a week for another chance.