It’s hard to believe that another year has passed by already and deer season is over. As December ends, it’s time to oil the rifle and put it back in the gun case until fall. I finally picked up all of my hunting stuff and washed all of those clothes that I’ve been hearing about laying around the house for the past three months.
I was glad I cleaned out my pack because a bottle of year-old doe pee doesn’t smell any better when you find it next deer season than it does now. A sharp knife always makes the job go faster, so I make sure to sharpen them. That way I’ll be ready to go again when the time comes. The end of deer season is always depressing but fulfilling.
It’s a downer because you have to wait nine months to deer hunt again, but a freezer full of venison is the gratifying part, knowing that there will be several delicious meals to come. I like to leave my trail cameras out to see what bucks made it, but some are already starting to drop their antlers now.
As the snow continues to fall and pile up in January and February, I shift my hunting focus to small game. Rabbit, grouse and squirrel seasons are in and provide a great opportunity to get outdoors, especially if you know a good buddy with dogs.
On the warmer days when I can’t hunt, I have a lot of brush to cut out of some blocked trails and for a new food plot. I’ve found it’s a great time of year to do this as it’s not too hot, the bugs aren’t pestering you and you don’t have to worry about snakes. I’ll do anything to help keep the cabin fever from setting in. I actually already started clearing the food plot.
It’s never too late or early when it comes to thinking about deer hunting. With snow covering the ground, fresh tracks are revealed and travel ways become more evident. And it’s a good excuse to get out of the house and take in the cool, crisp air.
Keep your eyes open, as you never know when you might come upon a shed antler. A walk in the winter woods is always interesting, unique and blinding at times when the sun reflects on the white landscape. I just had to talk about strategizing and deer hunting one last time.
Reflecting back, like I always do at the end of every year, I couldn’t have asked for a better deer season and can’t wait to see what next year will bring. The stories are fresh in my mind, and the memories will never fade. That’s what keeps me coming back and why I’m fascinated with the whitetail deer and enjoy the pursuit of the hunt. The tenderloin tastes great as well.
I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all of my fellow West Virginia outdoorsmen and women. I hope you find plenty of time on the river or in the woods to enjoy what we are blessed with living in this wild and wonderful state. Take care until next time.