The night was extremely dark, just a sliver of moon. The boys had a flood light set up on a fence rail that was inserted into a cement filled pail. This put the light about 8 or 9 feet high, with the "critter" and caller nearby. Well we heard them, never saw them. It was still alot of fun.
We counted 11 deer that day also. You can tell the rut is coming. Lots of activity. None seen had antlers however. Next day after some breakfast and a trip to the Fly Creek cider mill, we drove back to the farm and listened to the end of the Giants game. Then we headed out to survey the land looking for the western property line. We still haven't been able to ascertain were our property ends and the next farm begins. Anyway, with Jake and Kellen on the ATVs and mom and I following on the Mule, I asked the boys to try and carve a trail from the west side forest to the eastern upper meadow. They were effectively blocked by a rocky outcropping. However they did flush out a couple of deer. So we rode down and attempted to cross the lower meadow. It had rained up there for five days straight and things were real sloppy. Even in 4 wheel mode the mule got bogged down in the mud. The rear axle was submerged. Jake rode around us on the Arctic Cat and he fed me the winch cable. Attached it to the front frame of the mule, mom drove, Kell and I pushed, Jaked pulled with the "Cat". Got it out, but Kell and I got pretty muddy.
We put out some quality deer food for antler growth in the far eastern cut field then headed up the "hidden" trail to the upper acres to show the boys the newly found shooting shack. We bush whacked some over grown brush and thorns to open up the trail on the way up while the boys checked out the "crime scene vehicle" hidden in the woods. After viewing the shack we started down to pack-up and head home to Windham. Suddenly Kellen and I spotted a deer feeding in the lower pasture that we hope to use for either hay or corn next season. As we moved slowly down with the machines so as not to spook her we saw our first antlered deer. He stepped out of the tree line and followed her into the field. It was getting dark, but you could see the "mass" around it's head. Could only have been a rack and a decent one at that. I wondered aloud that maybe they were already starting to pair up in anticipation of the rut. Got us a little excited. Saturday starts bow season and I may try some hunting early that morning. Then off to Sean and Laura's engagement party.