Of all the things great and small I do not understand in this world, from the appeal of NASCAR to why women hate Rachel Ray so much when Kelly Ripa lives and breathes fresh air, I’ll fail to explain the doldrums that has been my Florida deer season thus far. Weather great. Proven stand location. Maximum effort in the tree. Acorns aplenty. No deer, minus the does I saw opening morning of bow season. Null and void.
It’s seems to be a down year at Duette park in Manatee County. From what I've been told, nothing big has really squeaked in to the check station over the first four hunts that covered the pre-rut and rut. A bunch of hogs, but deer hunters were mostly left wanting. I may forgo my dues next year and take my talents back to South Georgia.
The muzzleloader hunt on the weekend of the 13th was most disappointing. I don’t really get excited until I can put the stick and string away for something that goes “boom!” And I enjoy hunting with this setup – a .50 Cal. Knight Disc Rifle with a Bushnell Banner scope firing a 250 grain Barnes Expander MZ served over 100 grains of Hodgdon 777 pellets. Kaboom! Accurate and dependable, it has made muzzleloading a corn feeder’s worth of fun.
But alas, nada. Just two big ol’ gobblers that showed up Saturday around two and poked their heads about before feeding into the palmetto flat. Dad saw a bunch of hogs and some gobblers, and that was that.
Duette met their quota of four bucks by Saturday evening, though the biggest was a small six. Twenty-some hogs met their maker. Dad hunted Sunday and saw nothing while I was on my way to North Carolina hoping the deer drought would not follow.
In all honesty, and I've made excuses in a previous post, I think it's just one of those years. The weekends allowed did not coincide with when the deer were moving, I guess. Successfully hunting deer in FL requires more time spent in the woods than I've been able to offer. I made the most of my innings but appear to be striking out.
I have other hunts in FL. One in Levy County. One in Sarasota. Two at Upper Hillsborough. Looking forward to it. Taking a FL buck is always a challenge I will put the work in for.