Went out yesterday to do a spot of hunting for the late muzzleloader season. Conditions could hardly be more different than they were during the early seasons in September. Then I was complaining about it being 80+ degrees in the afternoon...Saturday it started out frosty and foggy, and stayed overcast and cold all day.
I was unprepared for how difficult the fog made range estimation. Two separate times early on, I clearly saw a deer silhouetted out in the fog, but...they were backlit against the horizon, and with this being the first time I had hunted this property, the fog prevented me from having any idea what kind of backstop there was behind those deer, so I passed on the shots.
In the current season, I can shoot either a doe, or a 3-point minimum buck, so of course it should be no surprise that at around 10:00 as the fog was burning off, I had a nice big-bodied spike buck walk right up on me, and proceed to prance around within 50 yards of me for over half-an-hour. I saw him approaching, and until he got to within 100 yards, I would have sworn he was a doe...his antlers looked like someone had taken a #2 pencil, broke it in half, and glued both halves between his ears. It felt like such a set-up that I kept looking over my shoulder for the hidden camera.
The afternoon was less exciting. Even though the fog lifted, it stayed overcast and never got much over 34. I believe in layers when I am hunting, and when needed, I have a nice waterproof outer layer, and it kept me dry through the occasional round of drizzle/freezing rain. All I really saw in the afternoon though were a few coyotes, and while I was tempted to take a shot at the 2nd one(his CPA was within 40-yards of me), I passed. Nothing against shooting coyotes(in fact, it's the price some land-owners ask of you)...I just hate to make noise shooting a coyote if there is any chance that a deer might be getting ready to round a corner into my draw, or crest that next ridge over.
Hey...it couldn't have been that bad of a day...I'm looking forward to going out again Sunday!