Hey guys. Just wanted to check in since I have gone out a few times now.
I have been going out to Kingsbury in La Porte County. First off no I have not harvested anything. I have the 1 buck permit and I have seen a few does but that's it. I know I could always get it for does too but I guess I don't want my first harvest to be a doe. Since 1 buck is the basic license, and they seem to be harder to find, I feel like it would be almost like cheating to switch to going for a doe just because that's what I've seen. I don't know if that makes sense but that's how I feel about it.
Anyways I have been stalking on the east side of the park. It's a pretty darn big area with some nice open field spots and dense woods too. I have done a few circles all around checking out the lay of the land, always planning it out to be in the wind as much as possible when I explore based on where I am entering from, going up empty tree stands just to glass around for a min, not to sit, and keep walking. Then I sort of figured out where I thought it might make sense to plop down on the ground for a while finally on another day (this last Sunday) based on everything I was seeing. I did not find a bedding area - the woods get really really dense far inward, like logs fallen everywhere, 15 ft visibility, so I didn't want to chance being too noisy that far in. So either there is bedding near the center or there isn't. I sat for a long while in my spot, great cover but also good visibility on a few spots, did some calls, heard some distinct noises near by but still no out of the cover enough to see. So maybe they were close, maybe not. I'm still learning...
However, for the amount of walking/stalking/hiking I did all together, (probably about 7 or 8 miles worth based on the map), I feel like the other big area of the park, I think it's area 8, is where it's at. That's where I always see the most cars, but I don't want to go into an area where there's already 5 or 6 people, and multiple tree stands being used, within a 2 or 3 mile radius, while I'm stalking around on the ground. So I thought I would give the other area a try. Obviously the main area is popular for a reason.
So long story short, nothing so far and I don't know if I can get back out there with work, but it's been really informative for me. I mean just getting out there, testing out what I've learned from reading and watching, looking for the signs, listening, practicing being as quiet as possible, all that.. it's just fun anyway and I know I need a lot practice to get to where I'm gonna really be able have any kind of skills. So more than anything it just feels good to be active in it no matter what - to be able to say I am getting out there on my own and connecting to the experience and reading the woods and giving it a try.
Also, had a funny experience that I'm sure is common for everyone. So Sunday evening, right after sunset, walking back through about a mile of open field to my car, since it's past shooting time anyway. Very dim light out. All of the sudden I realize there is a big doe about 30-40 yards away from me just eating right in the open. I stop because it startled me, blending in so well at that time. I look at it for a second... and then it sees me and we just stare at each other in the eyes for like the longest 30 seconds in history. Then it saunters off and I keep walking to my car. Like "ok you have a good evening too ma'am." lol. It was a funny way to end the long day, and that it was so close to my car right in the middle of the openness.
Anyways, glad to be here and be a part of it all. Good reading everyone's input and congrats to everyone who has been successful at harvesting so far this year! Good hunting to all!