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2016 hunting season recap

January 8, 2017
Cole Anderson - Grundy County Conservation Naturalist/Technician , Reinbeck Courier

I think the 2016 hunting season flew by faster than any other season I can remember. I had a few successful hunts and a lot more that were unsuccessful but as the hunting seasons wind down I can say that 2016 has been pretty good to me.

Like every year fall officially kicks off for me by taking a weekend to head out into the woods and check all of my tree stands to make sure that I still have good shooting lanes and all of my ratchet straps and stands are in safe condition. This weekend always gets me fired up to get out in the tree stand to try to shoot a deer with my bow and like every year I got very excited and got in the stand in early October. Many hunters have success in the early season but

I never have and expect I never will, so obviously I didn't shoot a deer in early October. In fact I'm not sure if I even saw a buck in early October. Deer movement had slowed down drastically so I decided to dust off the goose decoys and try to shoot some honkers. This proved to be far more successful than deer hunting. Our good friend from northeast Iowa had never been goose hunting so he came down with his daughter and joined us for the weekend. We shot a few geese on the first morning but the second morning was some of the best hunting I've had in a long time. We shot our limit of geese by 8:00 in the morning and 4 of the geese had bands.

The goose hunt was just what I needed to get my spirits up; spending hours hunting without success can start to wear a guy down. But now it was back to the grind in the tree stand waiting on a big buck. And waiting..and waiting..and waiting..and waiting. Sometime during mid-November I started calculating the amount of time I had spent in the tree stand that season and I realized I had broken the 80 hour mark. That's the kind of number you don't share with your wonderful and very tolerant wife who has been taking care of all three of your kids during those 80 hours. The days were getting shorter and first bow season was winding down fast and I really didn't want to go into shotgun having not killed a deer.

With only a few days left I decided it was probably time to just shoot a deer. No more being picky and waiting on a big buck, the time had come to shoot whatever came by. On the last day before bow season closed and shotgun season opened I got in my stand and after 20 min I shot the smallest buck I've ever shot. It was a good clean shot and after 90 hours in the stand it felt good to be done. I went and picked up my kids and they helped me recover the deer which turned out to be my favorite part of the whole season. They were so excited to see what was at the end of the blood trail. I just wish their dad had shot a little bigger buck to find at the end of it.

I didn't kill a giant buck of a lifetime this fall but I got a chance to shoot some geese and even a few squirrels this year. Although the 2016 calendar year has come to an end, my hunting season hasn't quite ended yet. I still have a muzzleloader tag in my pocket and a week left to fill it. With any luck I'll be writing about the great start to 2017! And if not, I'll just dig out my ice fishing gear.



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