AROMA PARK, Ill.--Is snoring a natural sound or does it spook deer?
Pondering that and some other notes from Illinois' first firearm season, which ended Sunday.
If I am running a sunset photo, you know how my season went. That's Friday evening, when I think the wind had actually calmed down to only blowing something like 35 mph and I was able to climb out of the stand.
I've had other deer seasons with a day of big winds, but back to back days like Friday and Saturday are rare. In fact, I don't remember another year like it.
Sunday was what I expected with deer moving. Took a pass on a young buck. Second season I will have no such restrictions on myself.
Forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton was helping out in JoDaviess County and said, with winds and all, they were still lined up deep Friday evening to check in deer.
I am curious to see how the numbers shake out.
Once again, fox squirrels playing kept me alert.
And I them.
Friday afternoon the wind had a brief lull and I napped briefly until claws on tree bark caused me to awaken. The fox squirrel two feet from my head and I were equally startled.
The relative calm of Sunday afternoon left me take a good nap, so good I awoke myself with a good snore.
Rather sheepishly, I looked around to see if I had spooked any deer trying to sneak down the fence line.
Heard very few shots all weekend, but I am not sure if that is simply a function of having my hood up to protect from the wind and not being able to hear, or was there less shooting in the wind.
The young guy who hunts the neighboring farm to the south said the guy who hunts the farm to the west had a 12-point and an eight on trail cam.
I had not seen the 12, nor had the farmer, and I road scout the farm all year long. I suspect it is primarily a noctural buck.
My favorite set of tracks all weekend was the one that cut right in front of where I parked my car.
Sitting on the stand, it was somewhat gulling and somewhat fun to have people texting deer photos.
Some good deer went down this weekend.
I stopped over Friday night at the deer camp that Jim Adams and Cindy Gustafson have in eastern Kankakee County. They had some solid deer on the meat pole and a couple others had already went home.
That side trip added to what turned into a good weekend, deer hanging in my garage or not.
I was able to get out every morning and every afternoon. So that gave me some time to actually rewind my internal clock to natural time and settle in by Sunday more calmly than I usually can.
And the extended alone time to sit and sort life out.