Hook and bullet club - Hunting

On Sunday afternoon at 4:43 p.m, the 2018 muzzleloader season came to a close. Not having fired a shot in either season, I hopped in the truck and left the state park in Soudan.
Three minutes later I was looking at one of the largest bucks I’ve seen. He was alive and well, standing on top of a rock cut along Highway 169.
I looked at the clock, then looked at the buck, then shook my head. That’s how hunting goes.
Every day I hunted during muzzleloader season I saw at least one deer. Except for the last day, unless you include the buck that was three minutes away from being fired upon.
I wouldn’t trade a minute I spent in the woods during firearms and muzzleloader seasons. Being out in the woods is my sanity saver. I can be sitting under a tree, walking along a ridge or pulling my boot out of a swamp, and I’m happy as can be.
On Friday afternoon I made a run out to Camp Cholesterol for a quick look around. I also wanted to pull the trail camera I had placed on the gut pile of the deer Megan had shot.
I’m participating in an University of Minnesota study, “Offal Wildlife Watching - Camera-trap monitoring of hunter provided carrion.”
They wanted me to remove the camera after 30 days so I went out to our Lifeguard Stand and walked to the camera.
There was no sign of offal and other than some old deer tracks, not much sign anything else had been there since the last snowfall.
Heading out to the stand the only fresh tracks I saw were made by wolves. So I wasn’t surprised when I pulled the card from the camera and found more wolf photos than any other mammal. There were more raven photos for sure, but the wolves stole the show.
For the rest of the weekend I spent time at the state park, hopeful to use one of the two tags I had to take a buck or a doe.
On the last day of the season it was an all-day hunt, from before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Sitting for half the day, stalking through the woods for the other half.
Where I had seen a nice deer running down a ridge the day before there were only old tracks. In fact, there were tracks everywhere when I arrived Sunday morning. The deer had been out feeding all night and were likely bedded down for the better part of the day.
That’s hunting. There are no guarantees you’re going to see a deer or shoot one. There’s just the opportunity to spend some quality time outside enjoying everything the woods has to offer.
For me at this point in my life, I’m just fine with that.