When you hunt public land, it can be difficult to find the perfect spot. You have limited time for scouting and often are in competition with other hunters. That’s why, when you find YOUR spot, you tend to stick to it. Call it habit or delusion, in your mind, your spot is the best opportunity to drop a deer. Until you decide it isn’t!
Some fifteen years ago, I was a new(ish) hunter in a very new location. The group I’d joined had done some scouting of the area but still hadn’t become intimately familiar with the lay of the land. Each man took his vague knowledge of the area and picked a reasonably decent spot to sit. I, being the youngest and least experienced, was directed to a hillside not too terribly far from camp. Silence and boredom grew increasingly frustrating as the morning wore on. Luckily, a member of the group gut-shot a doe, and that little lady needed to be tracked.
Dale, the shooter, and Mitch lead the effort, keeping careful watch on the trail and sniffing out the doe’s movements. The trail went cold at the bottom of a hill and the last drop of blood was found on the bank of a semi-dry creek bed. I was more of a tag along, a young pup absorbing information and technique, but I did my part by doing as I was told. Mitch instructed me to cross the creek and sit just off the opposite bank while he and dale circled back to the last sign of blood. I sat on a stump, looked to my right, and there lay a very dead doe. Dale went to work dressing the deer and I went to walking.
The creek served as a demarcation line between managed food plots and hillside timber. There were some interesting spots along the way, but nothing compared to the spot halfway up the hill, overlooking two draws. On a steep point I found my dream location! It even had an uphill- slanted tree on which to recline! Any deer coming off that hill would have to walk right by that point to get over to the food plot. Trails, food, cover, water—literally anything and everything a deer could want. I had found MY SPOT!
Funny thing about perfect locations, they don’t always work out the way you hope. I sat on my spot every season for seven years. Every year, I approached it hopeful and ready. Sure, my devotion was tested. I’d scout other locations, even sat down a few times. But the siren song of that locale always drew me back. Every year was THE year for my spot to produce results, and every year it didn’t!
I finally had enough—and had success in other locations. I decided it was time to move on. Instead of spending my morning wishing on my point, I sat off a ridge about a mile on the other side of the creek. I was successful, taking a doe an hour after sunrise. I figured that was a good sign that I had put my imperfectly perfect hunting spot behind me. I was wrong!
At home the following Monday, I got a call. Another member of the group, and editor of this publication, sat in MY perfect spot that very morning and shot a ten point buck. My perfect spot for seven years with nothing to show for it turned out to be HIS perfect spot in less than an hour. Jon’s smug satisfaction upon harvesting the deer, and for years since, has not been forgotten but has been (mostly) forgiven.
Author’s note: This article was written under duress of said snake editor and long-time friend, Jon Martin