2010 has been one of those seasons. So without lamenting the past three months, I’ll skip right to the most recent episode in my 2010 tale.

It began yesterday evening with hope and anticipation as I sat over a secluded food plot of clover and standing corn. I had been in to the stand the day before and saw that the plot was getting hit hard, so with the wind in my face I settled in. Not too long into my sit I spotted deer moving deep in the timber and they began to head my way. Six doe were moving towards the food plot and they began to file right across in front of me. The only problem was that I was sitting in a friend’s tree stand and shooting lanes were few and far between. Each deer passed along in front of me, almost walking right towards me at about 20 yards and then breaking to the left. At this point they crossed through the one decent shooting lane I had. A 12 inch gap in between a tangle of saplings and deadfalls. A button buck and four young doe filed through the lane, looking up at me in this stand and then continuing on their way. Bringing up the rear was the mature old matriarch doe and my sights were set on her.

Unfortunately, as soon as she approached my lane, she and another doe locked on to me and began getting jumpy. The stand I was in was not very well concealed and I knew it stood out like a sore thumb. As I considered my fate, the doe took one step into my lane and began to stomp her foot and bob her head. I knew she was about to book it and my opportunity was quickly fading. In a last ditch attempt, I thought my only shot would be to quickly draw, aim and fire before the doe could figure out what exactly I was. And in that instant, I drew, aimed, let out a blat and fired. Much to my dismay, just as the doe spun to run, my arrow flew left of the mark and she trotted away unharmed and untouched.

Over the next hour, another five or six doe moved into the plot without offering a shot, along with a small eight point buck. So while I sat there cursing myself out, I at least enjoyed seeing a good number of deer and a beautiful sunset. And I suppose that has been the story of my season. Although my luck hasn’t been the best and mistakes have been made along the way, it’s been a season that I will certainly learn from and remember for one reason or another!

With only one evening hunt left for me this year, I have already begun to reflect back on the past three months and look forward to the next season. And the only thing I know for sure is that it will be a long offseason, with many sleepless nights and lots of hard work. Next season will be different.