Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Greatest and Best Month in the World


November is my favorite month of the year, bar none. Yes, my youngest son Jordan was born in November. My parents celebrate their anniversary in November. Thanksgiving is in November. All of these events make November special, no doubt, however, they are not the reason November is the greatest and best month in the world.


The phenomenon known as "the rut" is the period when deer breed. This primarily occurs in November. This is a magical time for those who pursue the whitetail deer buck, it's your best chance to score on a bruiser. Buck deer, like most male mammals, seem to lose a lot of their natural caution when the scent of a receptive female is in the air. Deer that are usually nocturnal, will show themselves in daylight hours during the rut. It may be the only chance a hunter gets to lay eyes on a 4 or 5 year old buck, let alone shoot one. Bucks during this phase will be on the move all day long, so long as the temperature stays cool, in constant search for hot does. By the first week of November, bucks are getting worked up and will travel throughout their territory to inspect each doe for breeding readiness.

There is little question- November is the month of months.

I have quite a bit of vacation time left, so my plan is to spend as many days in a tree stand as possible. Contrary to some opinions, hunting isn't about killing stuff. It's about the total experience of being outdoors, trying to outsmart an incredibly wary and wise animal, enjoying all the views and experiences, and possibly harvesting a mature animal. Hunting with a bow means you'll be out in the field for many, many days without shooting anything. That's O.K., there's no experience like it.


10 comments:

Hough said...

Is this the greatest and best month in the world or just a tribute?

Frontier Forest said...

Great comments from a true sportman!

AJF said...

you gotta believe me...I wish you were there...

Frontier Forest said...

I know Nathan got a nice one this year, did you score?

AJF said...

I'll be spending as much time as possible the next two weeks trying...

Rick Calohan said...

Well November brings my mom’s birthday on the second, and my wife’s birthday on the 11th. In my yoot, I did go fishing allot but never hunting. While in the Army, I was stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, our company mail clerk, Kelly and I were close as Army friends could be when you are in your late teens and early twenties. Kelly was from Covington, Virginia, which is right on the border with West Virginia. It must been a Veteran’s Day weekend 1986 and we decided to go to his hometown for the weekend. Therefore, after driving four hours to his place on roads that overlooked the Shenandoah Valley, we decided I should go on a deer hunt since I have never been.

After spending the night at his mom’s house, we awoke before the dawn and trekked out to a private farm that a friend of a friend owned where the property line was barbwire and the fence line divided the Virginia-West Virginia border. From pre-dawn to sunset, we trekked onward and upward, hiked up, hiked down, talk about a field march. I even heard a bullet buzz over my head, yet in the twelve plus hours on the hunt not seeing even one deer, the only thing that was bagged was a tree squirrel.

The unique thing about this squirrel was that Kelly was standing in Virginia, shot the squirrel that was in West Virginia, crossed over the fence, bagged it, brought it back to Virginia, and said that should make a good meal. I thought he was joking on top of that Kelly did not even have a hunting license.

We drove back to his house in his 1985 Mustang 5.0 convertible, and up on the ridge we see a family of white tail heading upward, my friend slows the car to a stop and lowers the top of his convertible draws his .22 rifle with the car idling, fires a shot, he did not hit even one. Prior to being a mail clerk, his primary Military Occupation Specialty was being a tail gunner on helicopters. So as the deer got away, we lamented and drove to the local McDonald’s, which is by the local K-Mart / Bowling Alley, I ordered my usual Big Mac, fries, and a Coke, and offered to buy him whatever he wanted. He said, no thanks I got my meal in my bag, I still thought he was joking and did not believe he was going to eat a squirrel. Nevertheless, we went back to his mom’s house, his mom skinned the squirrel, and they had themselves a meal. I have not gone hunting since, but I do admire the sport, the call of the wild and like that big fish that got away, the stories oh the stories. Happy Hunting Tony!

AJF said...

Good story Rick.

Good time and memory with your friend, no doubt.

No offense though- but that's not hunting. That's more like hanging outdoors with your friend and taking a gun along.

Bow hunting the rut...all together different.

Rick Calohan said...

No offense taken, Dorothy, and I could not stop laughing when you wrote, “... but that's not hunting. That's more like hanging outdoors with your friend and taking a gun along.” We hope you bag your buck soon! If however, towards the end of your season and your still not having any luck at your various hunting grounds, may I suggest anywhere along I-470 east bound between exits 5-9 i.e. between Longview Lake and Douglas Street/Colburn Road, although I think most of the weapons of choice happen to be vehicles. You might be able to hit a deer before they get hit crossing the busy interstate. In fact I saw three deer cross ( a buck, a doe, and a fawn) the road behind me on Lee’s Summit Road, near Stevenson’s Apple Farm on Wednesday evening around 6:10 pm before getting on I-470 westbound it brought back happy memories. Good Tony, Hunting!

Mark Davis said...

I love the Ron White bit about the "elusive" white tail deer. As Ron suggests, if you're having trouble bagging one, try slowing down your arrow and putting some headlights on it. By the looks of things on the side of the road lately, anything with headlights is effective on white tail.

M. Jay Bennett said...

I miss bow hunting terribly. Back home in GA I used to stay in the woods all season.