A Calamity Jay Story: Overcoming Obstacles to Bag My First Muzzleloader Deer

  • Ice Fishing's avatar

    Part 2

    I decide to give it an hour before checking the impact site. I’m psyched — I get to bike out a deer! I finally get one with the muzz! I text my dad and wife and start planning on how to spend my week off after Christmas.

    I get down to the impact sight and find hair. Okay, that’s good. Right? It’s grayish white. Oh boy. There’s no blood, but that’s okay, sometimes it doesn’t start for 20 yards. I walk a little further and see a deer run left to right across the ridge. Yikes.

    I wait 30 minutes and resume the search. There’s not a lot of leaves scuffed and I can’t find a speck of blood. What the … I check every exit trail from the area: nothing. I wander off to the west, find no blood, but jump another deer over the ridge. This is not looking good.

    I grid search for three hours and never find a drop of blood. There seem to be plenty of fresh tracks but no blood in them. I guess after waiting for my shot for over 90 minutes, all I gave that doe was a haircut. Grrrrrr!

    I have two more morning sits left before the end of the season. I really want to punch a tag with the muzzleloader, but I have the worst luck with this thing. I’m 0-3 all out of the same stand: clean miss in 2017, drew a little blood on a hangfire in 2021, and today’s mishap. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Ice Fishing's avatar

    Also, not sure if you can make it out, but I jumped a WATER SNAKE. On December 20. In Massachusetts.

  • Tom's avatar

    You’ll get it done. Once you break that ice they’ll be stacking up.

  • Kyle's avatar

    Wow... what a ride.
    Very interesting to see a water snake at that date and location, but I think reptiles are more active in winter than we seem to think. I've seen water turtles come up for air in an ice rimmed pond in February! Not sure what to make of it...
    Anyhow, try try again. I missed a pig with the trad bow the other night making my trad bow record 0/2. All you can do is try again!

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Ice Fishing's avatar

Ice Fishing I


Active outdoorsman in all the seasons: deer, turkey, small game, fly-fishing, scouting, and, of course, ice fishing! www.instagram.com/icefishingisnotacrime

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