From Lee's Desk, November 2016

A Super Moon and No Deer

Thanks to all who supported our second Gentlemen’s Wild Game Dinner (GWGD). Congratulations and well done to Executive Director, Susan Williams and the GWGD committee. As you’ll see from the pictures we had great fun and my apologies for winning the raffle, but hey, I paid my $25 just like everyone else.

Congratulations, and well done to Steve Rulo, Dan Margita, David Rush, Aaron Guest, Jerri Lynn Keith, and Andy Carmack for coordinating the simultaneous clinics during the Special Youth Deer Season last month. This was a first for MHHF and our first major step towards expansion. We still have room for more at this year’s Henry County Waterfowl Clinic, December 9-11. Please spread the word and have interested parties contact me or Susan. We would like to have six more graduates to add to our current total of 403 before the end of the year.

The first Monday of firearms deer season I stepped out of the lodge door at 5:08. I was in the tree, extra layers on, ear protection in, face net in place, pack stowed, one racked in the chamber, settled and quiet 20 minutes before shooting time. (Have you ever heard a hunter complain about getting to the stand too early?)  All of this despite that I needed to step off the levee for a few minutes in route because the moon was like one of those spotlights they swing around the sky during the grand opening of a car dealership. When the clouds covered it up I continued on my way thinking every deer in the county had seen me by now.

Admittedly, it was a beautiful morning, one that makes you feel fortunate to experience the pageantry of the woods awakening with the dawn. There is about a ten-minute period when the sun is at a particular angle where it bathes the tree trunks in orange, illuminating the bark in a stark relief – but the action was slow. I saw one non-legal buck (antler point restriction) and later what I thought was a fawn and doe, neither of which presented a good shot.

The next day I was talking to MHHF volunteer and hunter/trapper extraordinaire, Joe Ketchum, complaining about feeling exposed, seeing my shadow on the ground two hours before sunrise the morning before. This was the first I had heard of the “super-moon.” Joe reported that this weekend the moon was closer to earth than it had been since 1948 and wouldn’t be this close again until 2034 and that it really impacts deer movement. Because the light is so bright, they party all night, consuming and spooning, then loaf at dusk and dawn during the time when hunters are supposed to be in trees and deer are expected to prowl.

So there I was, on time, dressed and anxious like a bride abandoned at the alter – all because the deer were not playing by the rules!


Any experienced hunter reading this will be nodding and thinking, “uh-huh.” For folks in the other category, let this be another example of why it’s called “huntin’” and not “gettin.’”