-By Rich Miller
With all of the different things whitetails can throw at you, hunting them can be a frustrating endeavor. Throw in the challenges that Mother Nature adds and it is a wonder we even bother.
The drought has hurt us over the past couple of years and now the rains that we have been getting are washing everything away. I did get lucky last week and it was dry enough for me to plow and get everything ready to plant. After getting all of that done I got around five acres of food plots planted Friday afternoon. That worked out perfect because we got over 1 ½ inches of rain Saturday night. It was a lot of rain to get in a short period of time and it did wash out in several places in the plots but the timing couldn’t have been better.
With my food plots finally in and off to a great start it isn’t looking like the deer will be in them for a while. Every year it seems like it is feast or famine around here when it come to the mast crops. This year it seems that we are in the famine mode. Every acorn and persimmon tree in the woods seems to be loaded this year. In the past few days it seems like every one of these trees decided to unload their fruit and it sounds like it was raining acorns in the hardwoods. The drawback to this is that it makes it hard to pattern the deer because there is too much food. Don’t get me wrong this is a great thing for our deer but it doesn’t help us hunters out very much.
This past weekend I had something happen to me that has never happened to me before. I got in the woods bright and early Saturday morning and climbed up a tree in a place that I haven’t hunted in a couple of years. I was in a creek bottom that is usually loaded with acorns and it funnels down into a perfect ambush point for a bow hunter. I had been in the tree for about an hour and it was good daylight.
It was the perfect time for me to start seeing some deer. That is when I noticed what I thought was a horsefly buzzing around my head. Shortly after noticing him he was joined by a few friends. I got curious to the commotion they were making and stood up to check them out. What I though t was a few horseflies turned out to be hornets and they immediately started dive bombing me.
I just grabbed my bow and started chunking my stand down the tree as fast as I could. The whole time the hornets were stinging me as much as they possibly could. When I got to the bottom of the tree I don’t remember how I got out of the tree I just remember I was just on the ground running. After I got finished slapping those stinging devils off of me I tried to figure out where they came from. There was a hornet’s nest in another tree about ten yards in front of me. I had gone in there early and never noticed the nest. I guess when it warmed up and they came out of their nest they recognized me and were not going to tolerate me being there.
I don’t know what I could have done any differently that would have kept them from attacking me. I would like to think that the next time I climb into a stand in the early season I will look for hornet’s nest after it gets light. There is one thing for sure the next time I hear what I think is a horsefly buzzing me I will probably start down the tree.