Bad luck can invade a hunt anytime and anywhere. It can come in a variety of forms, including accidental meetings with the buck of your dreams (in his favor of course), hurricane-force weather, intense hunting pressure and more examples than I have space for in this blog.
Here’s what happened during a recent TV hunt of mine ...
First, I made my own bad luck by scheduling only 2 days to hunt. It’s all I had time for before heading to another TV filming project. I made that bed and I slept in it.
Second, the area I chose to hunt had an outbreak of EHD. This disease affects whitetail country every season in varying degrees, and in my zip code it was devastating. Healthy herds were wiped out and my region sported fewer whitetails than checkout clerks in a busy store when you need one.
Third, a hunter on a nearby parcel of public land that adjoined the feeding field I was hunting decided to spend hours looking for a whitetail that he must have wounded the previous day. He bumbled around the area long enough to drive any hungry deer back into the brush and toward a nocturnal lifestyle.
Finally, during the last evening of my hunt the unbelievable happened. Right at the magic hour, whitetails began running everywhere and in every direction. They sped past me. They sped away from me. They basically left the region, and I soon found out why. A wandering dog was chasing them in the very brush I set up in to ambush a buck. If I hadn’t been trying to stay quiet, I might have handled the issue on the spot.
Despite my efforts, I just couldn’t put in enough hours and persistence to tag a buck. That’s just the way it goes. No hunt comes with guaranteed success—not even for TV.
Good luck in the field, and happy Thanksgiving!