Waiting On Weekend No. 2

The new boots are breaking in, my cold is breaking up and my hunting beard has — so far — stood up to nervous fingers that want to pick holes in it. Now, to get back to deer camp for the second and final weekend of Eastern Washington’s modern firearm hunt for muleys …

Our little campground was completely skunkered over opening weekend – a big fat Oh-fer-eleven — and since Saturday, deer sightings have plummeted precipitously in that part of Okanogan County.

If I heard Eric’s voice mail correctly last night, he saw one all day Monday, his father nothing.

My dad and his friend John didn’t even bother with the afternoon/evening hunt yesterday — went to town for showers instead.

The weather forecast also calls for showers — snow higher up, rain lower — this weekend and that could make this worthless prattling of an office-bound hunter in the throes of deer season even more pointless.

Frankly, it sucks to camp in the rain, especially cold rains, and I worry that after a week in the hills, the first kerplop on the trailer roof Friday will have Dad packing up ricky-tick.

Not sure if Eric will stick around either. He tried to wait out 2003’s Great Deluge and only succeeded in having his tent swamped and cookstove drowned.

Never mind that yours truly has found bucks to be more active in nasty weather over the years around deer camp.

But outside of nefarious sorts parachuting packs of hungry wolves into the backcountry over the next few days, nothing else is going to drive this migratory herd down to the winter range except for, well, winterlike weather.

Of course, not all of the Okanogan herd summers up in the arctic, there are local deer to be had. Northwest Sportsman‘s Dave Workman writes that he and NWS salesman Brian Lull saw 100-plus down in the Methow Valley Friday evening.

And a friend of Lull’s reports that one of his buds, Ron Mottar of Mercer Island, bagged his first buck ever on his first hunt. It occurred in the Sinlahekin Valley.

RON MOTTAR'S SINLAHEKIN MULEY. (GREG JAMES)

So there are deer around, and if the buggers in the hills listen to Steve Pool at all, they’ll know it’s time to get moving before the weekend’s weather frosts over the foliage.

Amy is not completely sold on me heading back to deer camp, however. She made some sharp remarks this morning about having to take care of the boys for another weekend by herself. Just now this afternoon, she reminded me she isn’t happy. Not sure how she’s going to react when I start rewashing my hunting clothes this evening (anybody out there have a spare couch, just in case?).

Then there’s getting to deer camp. We only have the one vehicle, and while I take a bus to work, there ain’t really a transit route between here and The Woods. Last weekend I borrowed the work truck, but when I asked again yesterday, the boss was slightly cooler on that front .

I’m absolutely sure that none of the editors at those hot-shot, super-slick-n-glossy hunting mags have these sorts of trials and tribulations, but, sigh, it is what it is.

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