I finally managed to get out to the woods to hunt deer with my flintlock rifle, Old Jacob. Monday I had Christmas family events to attend and Tuesday the skies allowed for rain all day. This morning I was disappointed when the forecasted snow was very scarce. However, during my travel to hunt the sleet was falling soon to be followed with fairly heavy snow. The constant snow did make seeing a little more difficult, but there is something about hunting primitively in inclement weather that attracts me. The winds were strong today too!
The first two deer I saw were laying ahead of me. I saw the one rising, but I couldn’t get my leather hammer and frizzen cover off the flintlock’s lock fast enough. (I had this leather over my firearm’s lock to aid in keeping the snow and moisture away from the pan powder.) Bob, who was hoping for a chance on one of the deer I moved failed to see them since the two went opposite to him.
Bob later went in another direction and I began sneaking around. I watched three deer arise about 80 yards from me. They had much snow on their backs. Each deer looked as if a cloud of smoke emerged from their bodies as they took off. (Deer fur is hollow and of excellent insulation quality. Indians and early colonists would use deer hair in the mocs in winter.)
I circled the deer and later saw where they had crossed a gas well road and went down towards the creek bottoms. My plan was to go around and still hunt the Cherry Run creek bottoms and search for them. However, it wouldn’t be long until my plans would change.
I walked this gas well road when suddenly I saw two deer followed by a third deer cross the road just ahead of me. The three deer entered the thick woods and all turned to their left and came about 36 yards from me. I snorted and the lead deer stopped and in an instance the doe was down for keeps. I removed the ramrod and reached for the powder horn and measure. I realized I had no need to reload.
Later, after I met up with Bob I spotted a doe about 28-30 yards from us standing. I excitedly whispered “Bob..Bob..Bob” and said “to the right!” Bob only saw a brief viewing of the tail by this time. I could see the deer walking about in the crabapples. Bob couldn’t see it.
All told, I had seen fourteen deer and three squirrels. (Three deer were laying after I had already shot the one. I managed one fair photo in the brush.)
I always hated to get a deer early on a hunt. I felt somewhat cheated this morning too! Now I am without any deer tags and the weather is now beginning to seem like winter. Oh well, I can still chase some for Bob and Cousin Donny!