home email colophon copyright The Claypool Outdoor Journal

Boggess Farm, WV
Mark Coppala, me
Mid 50s to Low 60s, rain

Deer hunting in the springtime? Let me explain. The deer have clobbered Ted's garden the last couple of years and now they're in his flowerbeds. He applied for and received three crop damage permits and asked Mark and me to fill them. We, of course, agreed.

I went out to the farm last night and saw two does running across the top of the hill field.

Mark and I set up on Ted's back porch about 1/2 hour before daylight. We stayed until 8:00 and then took a walk up the hill but didn't see any deer. We did see a rabbit on the top of the hill.

We went back around 6:30 in the evening, once again setting up on Ted's porch. Again we saw nothing. Ted's farm is a transitional feeding area for the deer and the storm front has thrown them off of their regular travel pattern. That's okay. We'll be back. 1-800-DOE-KILL.

  0 deer seen
  1 rabbit seen

Mid 50s to Low 60s

Out at Ted's around 7:00 pm. We stayed until 8:30, well after dark, and didn't see any. We were sure we heard a couple coming down through the woods towards the field but we never saw them. Mark and Tammy saw three below the pond when they were driving out. We'll be back.

  0 deer seen

Mid 50s to Low 60s

Out at Ted's around 7:00 pm again. Around 7:30 we saw three coming around the side of the hill. We each positioned behind a tree while the deer walked behind a big clump of multi-floral rose to drink from the cistern. When they stepped clear I picked the one on the right and Mark picked the one on the left. He counted to three and we opened fire. I hit a small doe way back and broke her hips, putting her down. Mark hit the big doe in the back and broke her down. I then missed the second small deer, that turned out to be a button buck, and then drilled it through the front shoulders - it folded as they are meant to fold. Mark hit the big doe a couple more times, the final shot right through her heart. Pretty sloppy shooting all around.

Learning note - counting to three works better on paper than in practical application. By the time Mark got to two, I was a nervous wreck! I'm not sure what the optimal solution is, but wouldn't recommend the countdown approach.

The big doe was pregnant with two fawns, a field-dressing sight one does not experience during doe season. The first one I hit was still alive and Mark cut her throat to humanely complete the job. We field dressed them and brought them back to my garage to butcher.

While Mark and I butchered Tammy and Hollis wrapped. They did a much better job of wrapping than we did butchering. Still, we got some backstrap, tenderloin, hams, and burger. It'll hold us until the fall. We finished up around 1:30 am.

One note - this was not hunting it was killing. It was more business than pleasure. I'm glad to help Ted and glad for the meat, but I'll take hunting season any day.

  3 deer seen, 3 deer dead

  The Claypools.com