Stories From A Tree Stand – River Drifting Deer Hunt8 min read
I fully believe that any day hunting, is a good day. More days are spent leaving with empty hands and yet the urge to keep trying grows stronger. This season brought new land, in an area I have had an eye on for some time for various reasons. This story showcases the river and a day that started with success then ended with an afternoon upriver adventure.
With my eyes on an area set deep on the property, ideas began to formulate regarding access via river. The idea is simple and still is an option in the future. This area is not a terrible walk as far as terrain , but the thick foliage and distance is not optimal in ways. If you have asked yourself why I would push to this area, two words answer that question, big bucks. With nothing but bucks coming on my trail cameras, bucks that far surpass any other on the various land options available to me for hunting.However, keeping in mind winddirection, bringing in stands as well as time restraints, rafting down river clearly won over walking it every time. Especially in early season, the humidity causing instant sweat just looking out the windows! Arriving to the pull out spot predesignated, all was well and I was up in my tree ready to hunt quickly! It was a humid day to say the least, but the wind was favorable and the view was perfect. Being early season, I found out week one, how these few weeks would be a very different playing field in relation to my prior season. Far more different than I expected.
The 2017 season Alabama was the state I started in for the Bow season opener. The key differences being the dates, Alabama was not open season until October. October brought far cooler weather as well as less food source options for the wildlife. The nut shell version of the active hunt included a strong grunt and stomp from a visitor but no visual was granted to me.
I had-climbed where cameras had shown the usual entry point, placing my back to this place of entry. With various theories about why, my visitor would never come out of the thicket and into the shot zone. I had been up the tree a good hour or so, then decided to bring out some of my deer lure from my Texas Raised Hunting Products Scents. It was no more than 30 minutes after my visitor came to investigate. He lived to grunt another day and a few hours later I declined from my tree and packed up to head home.
We loaded up the raft and flipped on the motor. With discussion on going as to the events from the stand, we set out to head up river just . It was not long before it was realized that the river and the motor we dead tied in power to power when the current picked up. The river was still very shallow, most can be walked actually. After trying and trying to fight up river, we soon agreed to pull up river instead. I was already sore from the earlier days activities, add that to a full climbing stand climb up then down, carrying and moving the packs, plus humidity off the charts had me at a disadvantage. The first little ways I stayed in the boat and my fiancé began to pull the boat and it’s contents up river.
Also to add, I have a weird phobia of river bottoms after encounters with crawl fish and turtles as a child. I joined shortly after though, pulling off my boots, socks ……and pants. We slowly but surely made it up the river, having to haul the raft over land where a tree fell one time, but otherwise it was not terrible just tiring. An unexpected obstacle in this crazy life outdoors doing what I love. I would do it again if needed, it’s all a journey to enjoy, destination unknown.
Eventually, we made it back to my truck and slowly loaded up, both fatigued and drained. The weeks leading up to this had grueling work in the humidity. So many times this could have been a very bad mood killer, yet without skipping a beat, we fired right back up talking about our new plans and other various tasked needing done and what days we planned to come out again to hunt , this was a great experience. No there was no deer going home with me to be a physical success story, but that’s ok with me. This I was happy ended as it did. With the current temperature and humidity, the meat would have surely been bad in the end. Glad it was hot and not cold when this hang up was discovered. Now I will always bring my set of waders , no matter the outlook. Always leaving time for issues when leaving as well as going to the woods. I missed very special podcast session and had to call someone to pick up the children from school. We had a few good laughs, and I was forced to push myself once again, setting the limit line just a little bit higher!
I have said and do still that I am in constant competent with myself. No greater pressure comes than that I feel internally. As a proud fan and Brand Champion of Reel Camo Girl I fiercely believe in our hashtag #earnyourwild, living for it the victory, striving to earn it every day as every day is new and requires growth or face complacency. On this day, I feel that I gave the most of myself to the woods than ever before. No limits, no regrets, looking forward to what comes next.