Well I tried again, but who thought the weather in WI would be better than AZ? It rained the first 4 days so I was glad I brought my raingear! But the deer didn’t seem to move much when it rains like they do at home. Maybe it's all the lions chasing them since it’s so dang quiet.
The day I flew in (1/14) stopped for 2 Sonoran dogs (which were as good as I remember) then made it to my camp with some daylight left. That eve I went looking for the tree I put a stand in 2 years ago and saw a lone javi working a hill side. Tried to get in front and he disappeared but the wind was swirling. The skies opened up walking back to camp and then it kept on raining. Next day put on the rain gear and went to a ground blind and as I was setting up I turned around and 15 yards behind me was a decent 3x3 (6 pt) coues. He had no idea I was there but heard me walk in and thought I was a doe so the rut was on. I carelessly nocked an arrow so it clicked ever so slightly and he took off. The next day (raining again) went to town the watch the Packer game at 1 pm and what looks to be a mule deer (or hybrid) walked by the blind while I was in the bar. dang curse of the trail cam, sometimes I think it’s better not to know. On Tuesday the sun finally came out at 2:30 and while I was reading a book out of the corner of my eye saw the outline of deer walk thru a gap in the brush at 15 yards. I also saw a shadow moving so I knew there was another one following. The lead doe stopped behind a downed tree 20 yds away and as I put the book down it made an ever so slight sound and she bolted, and then I saw the buck trailing was bigger than the 3x3. She came from a direction I never expected and was also downwind too so maybe that's what happened.
Because it was wet these deer made no noise walking so it was very hard to stay on high alert sitting for hours. After these encounters I put out my doe decoy and had a doe and later a spike come in and circle it so that might have worked as I think I could have pulled off a shot. But dang these deer are jumpy. I did have another doe up on the hillside see my decoy from 60 yards away and she snorted at it for 30 minutes. And next time I read a book it's not going to be in my hand!
I got chased out 1.5 days early by a severe winter storm warning of 14” of snow and 80 MPH winds so I changed my flight home. I really needed a few more days, with the rain (and the game) I really only had 3 decent hunting days out of 7. The last day (1/19) I went for a drive to see more country and man it’s so vast I could spend a month out there looking for hunting locations. Never saw another javi which is what I was hoping for but I was road hunting at the time. Still fun and I have the coues bug even worse now. I had 2 opportunities and proved I can get close but just failed to follow protocol. Getting the draw on one with a trad bow is going to be another matter entirely. I’m going to have to be very patient and wait for the right moment. I think my decoy may help when it doesn’t scare anything away which it did 33% of the time. I’m still learning which makes it even more fun. Plus I’m not as picky as back home so there’s a good chance any average 3x3 or better buck is a shooter.
Thanks to all those who gave me tips and encouragement and maybe I’ll get another chance to do this again. You guys have a cool thing going out there so let’s hope the rest of the world doesn’t figure it out too soon!