Dry Weather Affects Hunting and Fishing

What a difference a year makes. Last year it rained so much the first two weeks of November I didn’t go hunting. My back yard stayed about a foot deep in water for weeks. Lakes, and my ponds, were full and muddy from all the rain.

About this time last year when I finally got in the woods I could not cross the creek between my two ponds. It was full to the banks and flowing fast. Water was running over the upper pond dam. Friday I went down there and walked across it barely getting my boots muddy.

My lower pond is about three feet low, as expected. But the upper pond, the one that usually drops faster and further than the lower one, was full. And the water was a milky color. Not sure what is going on. I need to check the spring that feeds it and see if it caved in or something, making it flow faster and adding silt to the water.

There are lots of jokes about how dry it is but the drought is no joke. I didn’t even try to plant fall food plots for deer this year, and I think they all left my area. Other than acorns, there is nothing much for them to eat. And the acorns have quit falling.

Last year I had Austrian Winter Peas, clover and wheat greening my field. This year it is brown and crunchy. And several folks that spent a lot of money on seed and fertilizer in late summer say their food plots never came up, it was just too dry.

I checked to see if it was legal to put tubs of water out for the deer, and it is. But the deer don’t really need to come to the one I put out since nowhere on my land is further than a few hundred yards from a pond of creek.

I moved one of my climbing stands down to where I can see the trickle of water between the two ponds. That is the only place I have seen any sign of deer, but the tracks in the soft ground around the creek may have been there for a long time.

Sitting on the hillside overlooking the creek Friday morning I thought “why would a deer even be here?” There is some water, but there is lots more nearby. And the hillside has a couple of small privet hedge bushes on it and a little honeysuckle for them to eat, but other areas have a lot more of those two winter foods for them as well as one of their favorites, green briar.

I decided where I was hunting was like fishing on a flat, muddy bottom a long way from deeper water. There is nothing much to attract bass in a place like that and there is nothing on that hillside to attract them, either. I guess it is time to move to another area. I need to kill a couple of does for the freezer before the end of season.

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