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I woke up, startled, why was there light peeking in the windows?... I found my phone, muted, saying "press here to snooze"... Threw on my clothes, grabbed all my stuff and threw it into the car because I was going to go straight home after hunting, not coming back to the cabin. The wind forecast was out of the south, and I had a good spot in mind that is ideal for a south wind. Also very close to the car in a large area of public land. I had to be home by late morning, didn't want to shoot something a mile back that would take forever to drag out by myself, especially in the heat. I pulled into the public land parking spot a few minutes before sunrise. The deer usually cross the road by this spot right away in the morning as they feed in a private field not far away and bed on other private land on the other side of the road. I have hunted this spot many times when short on time or the wind is right, today for both reasons. I always try to get there well before shooting time. Not today though. Since it was light out, I quietly worked my way towards the creek where they like to cross. Looking for fresh tracks as I went, since I hadn't scouted this area yet this year. There were a couple sets from the previous night. I crossed the creek and moved towards the far woods quickly so I wouldn't be caught in the thirty or so yards of open grass if one was coming down off the hill in the trees. Once across I picked up the trail quickly, good sign on it. If any deer were still coming, they probably would come right to me. It's actually a good thing that I forgot my tree stand straps at home. I realized it on Saturday afternoon when heading out to an evening spot and found they were missing. If I had to put up a stand, it would have ruined everything. So I stood next to a big tree very close to the main trail, and a lighter crossing trail. The small trees near my offered good cover if I could spot anything coming at a distance. I wasn't sure if I would stay long though, so didn't bother moving more than a couple yards off the trail. 10 minutes went by, and I heard a couple branches break up the hill and on the main trail. In the late fall I would easily have been able to see up there, but early season is different. A moment later I head more noise, it must be a deer. I quickly pulled up my bow and attached my release as I spotted antlers ahead. The deer looked plenty big for me, so I drew as he was about 25 yards out and still behind lots of leafy saplings. He quickly walked through the first opening, thankfully angling slighty off the main trail, otherwise he would have walked right into me... I was in plain sight of him, but he never took the time look my way. I would have shot but he didn't stop, so as he hit the next opening at 15 yards I grunted because I doubted he would stop on his own. He froze, and I put an arrow into him. The shot looked great, good height, maybe slightly back. He ran in a circle back to where he came down. And stood there and flicked his tail a few times..... I knew then that I probably hit liver. It was too far forward for guts. He was too far, and too much between us to take a hail mary shot. He walked a few steps behind some leaves where I couldn't see him. I waited only a couple minutes as he never appeared further ahead, so I slowly moved to the side to try to spot him. I couldn't see him, so I went back to the trail he had been on and crept forward. After a short distance and not seeing any blood yet, I had a bad feeling setting in. Then I looked ahead as I saw movement in the ferns. Antler tips were sticking up and he moved his head again. He had bedded in the ferns where I last saw him, licking his wound. He was surprisingly only 20 yards ahead of me, but hadn't seen me through the ferns. His head was swaying a bit. He looked semi-alert, so I had to think fast and didn't want to let him sit and suffer. The only thing between us was a lot of ferns, and I could see the top of his rump, and his antler tips, so in between would be vitals. I drew another arrow and sent it into the ferns where his center body would be. He bolted up in the air and into a small tree and landed back on the ground. I probably hit his spine, he was stuck against the small tree now and could see me but wasn't moving. I quickly drew again and sent one more into him, this time I finally put one in the lungs... He expired shortly after. It was nice and cool, no mosquitoes like last night, and I could comfortably take my time to get a couple photos and get to work. Of course I forgot my dragging strap at home. I had to get him out the old fashioned way. I thought I would go ahead to the car and get a drink, then realized I forgot my cold root beer, and the ice pack, at the cabin. I guess they will wait until later this season. I knew I was out of shape, but good grief, 300 yards of dragging was never so hard. And I still had to get him into the back of my VW wagon. Finally on the road, I stopped to talk to someone coming out the woods with blaze orange and a shotgun. They were squirrel hunting, and not familiar with the area, so I pointed them to where I had seen some grouse and wished them luck. I actually hadn't seen any squirrels while scouting, they were probably fat and lazy from gorging on acorns. The first gas station I came to was a welcome sight. I got a cold soda, and a 10lb bag of ice to pack into the deer to combat the heat. It was getting warm fast. Home an hour later, deer cut up and in the fridge as quick as possible, and I'm ready for a nap.
Hi I was wondering if anyone has fished Yellow Lake, near Webster. My wife's uncle has a cabin there, and we will be going there over the weekend. I'm not looking for anyone's hotspot, just some general tips as to what might work, and what kind of fish I could catch. I'm most interested in panfish and northerns, but will go after anything. Thanks