So, I will admit to being a fairly inexperienced hunter. I've been hunting less than a dozen times in my life, as my family were not the hunting type (fishing yes, hunting no). The last several years, I've had good friends invite me out to their lease or their owned property to hunt with them. 2 years ago, I got my first buck, which was awesome.
This year, though, due to work and other issues, we couldn't make the timing work for me to go out with friends. Fortunately, a good friend of mine on the last weekend of season said "Hey man, I'm not gonna make it out. Just go out there and hunt without me.". Needless to say, never having skinned/field dressed a deer solo, the idea freaked me out. So I got out early on Friday to sit in the blind (Comal County, near Canyon Lake) just to check things out. Saw a bunch of bupkiss. Nothing. Great.
Next morning, I'm in the blind bright and early before 6, just to be safe. Freezing my bum off. I proceed to see absolutely nothing for nearly 3 hours. Not a doe. Not a hog. Not a wandering cow. Nada. I was honestly just counting the minutes till I could get inside an warm up and texting my wife that I hadn't seen any signs of movement, when finally there is something. This guy walks out on the ridge behind the feeder, and meanders down. He stops for just a second, raising his head to give me a great broadside view of his front half. That was enough.
I know, not the biggest deer posted on these forums. But my buddy said it was by far the biggest buck he had seen on the property this year (small acreage). And it was the first (and only, so far) one for me to take completely solo.
The next hour or so was spent fumbling through probably the worst field dressing ever. I was lucky to have had good teachers in the past, but there's no replacement for experience.
All in all, while I appreciate the solitude of a solo hunt, I'm a pack animal. I'd rather have some good friends and a pair of extra hands when hunting. That said, I can't see myself skipping any more seasons for the foreseeable future. I've got the fever. Next up: Turkey