So far . . . just excellent

John L. Sloan

So far . . . just excellent

Brandon Dowdy and his 180-pound Wilson County buck.

With some minor bumps and jumps, deer season has gone great so far. Never have I seen or heard of so many successful hunters. As for me, since I am primarily hunting does, my season has gone great.

On only one occasion, did I go to the woods and not see deer. I killed three with my crossbow and missed two. Since that is more than I have missed in the last four years, I decided to check my sight. It is hard to hit one shooting 11-inches high and four to the left. I fixed that and killed the next one just the way you should.

Then, less than 40-minutes into my muzzleloader hunt, I dropped a big doe. Dragging her out did not do my hernia any good at all. However, I did build an easy loading ramp for my Dodge. Using a black and tackle, loading one now is a snap.

Samantha Nelson killed her first deer, a fat doe she took with a bow back in October. Young Blake Edwards killed his first two hunting with Ken Nelson Jr. on the Young Sportsmen Hunt in late October and I think just about every body killed a deer on the opening weekend of muzzleloader hunting.

Brandon Dowdy killed a fine mature buck here in Wilson County. The buck had a super, 21-inch inside spread and estimated at 6.5-years old and field dressed weight of 180-pounds. That’s a hoss.

The weather for most of the season so far has been just perfect. Opening three days of muzzleloader were about as nice as you could ask for. Low frosty nights and just warm days are the ticket to get deer moving.

Rifle season was just a continuation of muzzleloader just with a quick change in equipment. And so far, the weather has cooperated again. Last Sunday was downright frosty and I loved the sunrise. I have become selective. I am looking for one that will field dress at about 60-pounds or maybe even 50. The alternative would be a real wowser of a buck and that is not likely.

Some good bucks have been killed this year including an archery buck out of Davidson County that is in the 175-inch class. There are couple of factors that make that much antler measurement tough here in Wilson.

First, we do not have the amount of suburban top class habitat that the Nashville burbs have. Second, maybe the largest factor, they don’t usually get old enough to sport antlers like that here. It takes a deer about six years to reach full antler potential and that is hard to do in Wilson County.

It has been somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition with me to hunt for at least a couple hours Thanksgiving morning. Two years ago, I went and managed to kill two deer, a buck and a doe. Last year, for some reason, my mind is blank. I have no idea if I killed one or not. This year, I am not planning to go. I do not know if it is old age or just being worn out from the long season.

However, if the rut cracks wide open and they start running all over the place, I may revise my plan tomorrow morning.

For me, it has been a good season. I have killed not only as many as I need but as many as I want. Now, on the best days, I hunt just for the enjoyment of the outdoors. The season officially closes on January 5, so we have over a month left to hunt.

As of last week, the approximate figures from TWRA showed we had about 63,000 killed so far. If the good weather holds, we should set another recent kill record. I am predicting we will kill 176,000 by the time all the figures are totaled.

The figure I am most interested in is the kill ratio between bucks and does. I am also wondering how accurate this telephone and computer check-in is.

So, happy Thanksgiving folks. Enjoy your meal, enjoy the outdoors and hunt safely. Next week, by golly, I might just tell you about some fishing I recently did.