Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cheatham WMA- Muzzleloader Season 2007

Hello all,

Our first muzzleloader season finished yesterday here in Tennessee. I hunt on public land... Cheatham WMA (Wildlife Management Area) to be exact. I must say: this past Saturday was an eye opener. Let me explain.

I hunted Cheatham last year and expected this year to be similar in the number of hunters. What I found was that this year their were 10 times as many hunters hunting then last year this time. I was crushed by the waste of time that ensued. I set up where I knew deer were traveling during bow season but knew that I was in trouble 5 minutes after arriving at the WMA.

I had about 6 different areas scouted out as alternates. If a hunter was in a given area I would simply go to one of the other areas that were good for the wind at hand. As I approached each of the areas, I notices multiple trucks parked right on the fields sometimes. Every scouted area less 1 was filled with hunters. The one area that I didn't check was about a mile in from any road and by time that I would get there there would only be about 2 1/2 -3 hours of daylight left. I opted for setting up a ground blind in a field that I hunted last year. This field had winter wheat growing nicely and plenty of deer sign to look promising. I set up there about 3 hours before dark. The very minimum that I feel comfortable with.

About 1 hour after setting up I notice hunters pull up in their truck jump out and head right into the field that I am hunting. They set up to my left and right as I am set up about center of a rectangular field. I keep thinking: They must see me, they must see me... no they are setting up across from each other and are endangering me and themselves. I need to pack up right now before I get shot.

As I leave the area I walk past the older of the two hunters... who profusely apologizes. I told him not to worry about it. I realized that my blind was hidden so well that they really couldn't see me. The gentleman asked, "Have you been there? Or did you just come out of the woods?"

They said that they would pack up but I said, "God bless your hunt and I hope that you get a huge one."

After leaving this area I went to a long deserted corn field that I shot a doe in this fall. The areas is somewhat close to the road and I didn't imagine that deer would graze on the grasses went pressured. I was correct... I didn't see any deer at all during the 3 days of hunting during the muzzleloader season.

Local reports are that there weren't many deer taken. I noticed that there very only about 2-3 shots total for all three days. For as many hunters as were there you would expect at least that many in squirrel shots from bored hunters.

Cheatham has about 21,000 acres of huntable land. The deer went into hiding... my job will be to find out where they go. So that I can set up there next year.

God Bless,

No comments: