I went out this morning at 6:30 AM when it was 15 degrees. Luckily it was not breezy at all and, except for the ice falling off tree limbs, totally silent. I sat for 2-1/2 hours and heard nothing and saw nothing.
Around 9 AM I thought I'd take a walk-about to see if there were any signs of activity. As I walked I heard a couple of shots w-a-y off to the south on the sunny side of the ridge, but they were too far off to have any impact on the area I was hunting. The ground was still covered with a crust of snow and ice and the trees would shed some of their ice cover when the breeze kicked up. I moved when the ice fell hoping the clatter of ice on ice would cover the sounds I made.
It hardly mattered. Aside a set of fresh dog/coyote tracks there were no fresh deer tracks. I did see a couple of gray squirrels and a pileated woodpecker and a couple of chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches but nothing else was stirring...not even a mouse.
I got back to my "usual" seat around 11 AM and settled in for the afternoon. I was just trying to decide if I wanted to have my sandwich when I spotted three deer coming down the trail at the bottom of the hill. None of them had antlers. I silently stood and rested my rifle on a tree nearby and focused on an opening near tot he one through which I had missed the buck last Monday. The first deer moved through that opening too quickly for me to squeeze the trigger. The second deer stopped in that opening and I squeezed off a shot. The deer kicked out like a mule and dashed off into the Norway spruces on the other side of the field. I swung to the first deer which had stopped in an opening a short distance down the trail. I squeezed off a second shot and that deer fell where it stood with blood spurting out onto the snow.
Thinking I had filled my two doe tags, I headed down the hill to put them on the deer's ears. Problem is, I missed that first shot. I found the spot where the bullet hit...directly under the deer's belly. That's why she bucked and ran off. The second deer lay dead on the trail. The bullet, quickly aimed and fired, had missed the heart and lungs but took out the neck. I searched the track of the first deer and found no blood sign...and a .270 Winchester would have left some blood trail within 50 yards. And with the snow on the ground, it would have been easy to spot. *sigh* Terry reminds me that I'm still doing better than most baseball hitters. One for three is .333. More practice is in order for next season, however.
(BTW I'm pretty sure the regs say I was supposed to "remove one tagged deer from the woods" before shooting the second although I can't seem to find that in the compendium. As I was on my own property, I thing I could argue that I HAD removed the deer from "the woods" (it was on my land) before shooting the second.)
Disappointed that I had missed on the first shot, I still had to tag and dress out the second deer. Turning it onto it's back, I realized I had shot a button buck. Checking it's head there were indeed two tiny bumps above its eyes. Dressed out, I dragged it down the trail to the Aerie where I hung it up in the back of the house. I saved the liver and heart and Terry sliced up and packaged them for me (she won't eat the organs). I also took out the backstraps which we will have for dinner tonight.
I may, or may not go out tomorrow morning. The forecast has become slightly worse according to one of the two BIG names in weather. One is saying we'll have snow by 8 AM while the other says to look for flakes after noon. Both are talking anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of snow...and ice.