The three hunters on our 320 acre lease took a grand total of one deer last year (last evening of bow season). Once the shooting started, the deer only came out at night. From what we discovered this has become common in the area. So we decided to basically stay off of the property the whole month of October, and try to be as quiet as mice when we came in on Friday. It was opening day, the wind (from the south) was in my face and it was 35 degrees. I thought for sure this would be the best chance for my 12 year old daughter to get her first deer.
Well, we get into the blind at 6:40, start to get a little light around 7:10, the feeder runs for ten seconds at 7:40. I have my fingers crossed. Two minutes a later a big and ugly black and white spotted hog comes in but pushes off into the woods because he sees no corn fell outside of the pen. About four minutes later two smallish does come in and spend about 20 minutes in the pen and then another 15 minutes working their way toward the blind. Then I could see the smaller doe was actually a button buck. Five minutes later I catch a fleeting glimpse of a skinny four point coming up behind the pen but then he banks right in the direction the doe went earlier. An hour later a coyote walks down the road right in front of us. An hour later a roadrunner looking bird scoots by. We call it a morning about 10:30.
We get back in the blind (Saturday afternoon) about 3:30 and the feeder runs for five seconds at 4:40 and those two little deer show up again. The feed runs again at 6:00 for the full ten. Nothing else comes in. We call it a night at about 7:15.
Sunday morning we are in the blind by 6:50; the feeder runs, as scheduled. The two little deer show up, as scheduled. It starts to get really windy and stays that way. I conclude, to myself, nothing else is going to come in with all of this wind. We call it a weekend just past nine in the morning.
We have had a lot of shooters come in, everyday, on our cameras. The other hunter that was there this weekend totally struck out on Saturday and just had a large group of does come in this morning.
Last year I sat every weekend the entire month of December and didn't have a single animal come to the feeder. I don't know what we're doing wrong. I know it is just opening weekend but given all I've already mentioned here, I really had my hopes up.
I did not hear a lot of rifle fire form other areas as well. One shot to the east about 8:00 a.m. and one shot to the west about 5:30 p.m. This is unusual compared to years past when I could hear 3-4 rifle reports per hour this early in the season. This is telling me it's not just us.