Oakwood Season Opener 2016
Well the first weekend of November has finally came. We have been hunting for a month, but there is still something about the first weekend of November that seems special to us all. The growing up looking forward to the opening of rifle season every year was like Christmas for young deer hunters. Even though now MLD properties allow us to start earlier, it is still opening weekend even if it isn't opening anything. We have been able to spend this time with great friends the past few years and this year was one of the best yet. The Murphy family invited us to their Oakwood Ranch along with their children who are our age and their kids. It turned out to be a great hunting weekend as the rut was in full swing and bucks were moving everywhere. Stand choice seemed to be best by throwing darts and hoping that you had a hot doe in your area at that moment. Dale and I hunted Friday evening and couldn't get on a big buck we saw behind us that she actually spotted first. We had to get turned all the way around and open up a window to actually get a good look at him. Dale's optimism flowed as she stated "if we scare him off, don't worry, another one will come out!". There is a lot of truth to that statement when hunting in Oakwood. As we finally got the gun out the window he slipped away back into the woods. There wasn't much more action after that though. Tommy shot a nice 9 point that evening and most of the hunt was spent watching the rain come down. Saturday morning Chad shot an old 9 point that scored 147 and was just a brute of a deer. We sat until 10:30 Saturday morning but didn't connect on anything and headed back in to eat and catch some fish. Saturday evening Molly, Dale, and I went back to Lost Lake and settled down about 4:30 pm in hopes of seeing the deer Dale and I saw the night before. After watching a few young bucks chase some does we spotted a wide 8 pt back behind us right before dark. After a few minutes Molly was able to connect and knocked him straight down! Dale was probably the most excited person in the stand at that moment.
She has really taken to the whole deer hunting sport. Amazingly enough she enjoys the skinning aspect of it also. She actually started shooting her 22 also this weekend so she could get ready to shoot her own deer as she says. Chad shot another 9 pt that night that scored 151 and was a hoss. That put him at 298" for the day! Since I hadn't seen a shooter yet I got the blessing to go sit in Serengeti, Tommy's favorite stand, the next morning. As always, Serengeti didn't disappoint. Not long after daylight I had a mature main frame 8 pt come strolling through the field behind me. After seeing the mass of this deer I knew he was a shooter and I sent one his way. This was the first deer I have shot this year, and I was reminded why I love this so much. With that I continued my streak of shooting a big 8 pt for probably the 10th year in a row. I love big 8's and if I can shoot one like that every year I'll be the happiest hunter in the woods.
Tommy shot a 10 pt that was on the hit list that morning and Chad shot Linda's pet deer. Not really, but Mike definitely helped Chad feel really good about his low fence trophy. One thing for sure if you shoot the two biggest deer, then you shoot the smallest deer, you are catching it at any camp.
As always it turned out to be another great weekend and the kids had a blast. Oakwood has always been one of my favorite places to hunt and it will always be a truly special place to us. We have so many great memories there that we have got to make with our kids and great people. As I always say, "If you can't have fun at Oakwood, you can't have fun."
I have put together a video of the weekend and its fantastic. Watch and enjoy.