Waiting for the right wind to hunt on, I finally had it. The first south wind of the hunting season and I knew I had to be in the woods. After sitting for about 3 hours with no action, I heard a stick break behind me. Not having any cover around me, I couldn’t turn to look. I had to wait for whatever it was to walk into my peripheral. Nothing...nothing...finally, small antlers. So I figured that was all it was and finally looked over. My eyes didn’t even focus on the deer that I thought was alone, but went straight to this beast, luckily looking the other way. Heart racing but not able to move when I desperately needed to. They were closing the distance. Both at only 20 yards when I first saw them. The smaller one was not hesitant at all while the mature buck was, well, mature. The small one came to feed as his buddy watched and waited to see all was safe, giving me time to find a way to pick up my bow without him seeing. Taking a step or two about every 10 seconds then smelling the air to double check it was safe. He was walking straight downwind of me and I was shaking like a leaf just knowing I’d get winded. But my #scentlok kept me hidden. He came straight downwind at 6 yards and stopped. I knew this was my shot. He could smell me if I give him any longer. Waiting for his head to go behind a near tree so he wouldn’t see, I drew my bow back, said a little prayer, looked through my sights, and bam. The rest was surreal.
Watching a deer grow for 3 years then having the chance to harvest him is absolutely amazing and saddening at the same time. But it’s nothing but love and appreciation hunting these animals. Will feed us for a year at least.
I was lucky enough to get in laws with a little piece of land and that’s all I need! Beyond thankful.
Not one to really review rest areas... but the Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center/Rest Area is definitely my favorite. It has a pretty extensive walking path through a native prairie with plants like Splitbeard bluestem (Andropogon ternarius), Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida), Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) and more. It has many other sustainability-related features addressing energy and stormwater management needs as well. Thanks so much @ncdotcom for the coolest rest area ever. We need more native wildflowers along roadsides! If you have never been and you’re headed to the mountains, it is definitely worth a visit... I never imagined I would say that about a rest area.
Rough Blazingstar (Liatris aspera) in a remnant prairie in Rock Hill, SC. Liatris is present in NC but listed as threatened in the state [State T, S1 G4G5]. I love the phyllaries on this plant. Their blistered appearance is so unique and just plain cool looking.