This weekend’s hunt almost didn’t happen due to the government shutdown. There was no scouting done prior to this trip and Chris and I had to make some quick decisions on where we would set up. Fortunately, Chris set up camp on Friday and I rolled in on Saturday morning with our ORV permit.

Saturday afternoon was HOT and humid with very little breeze. We set up about 5 miles away from camp. Both of us set up our stands near well traveled game trails, so it was a matter of luck if we would spot a buck. Fortunately, Chris spotted a doe soon after he set up, but that’s all we saw. The heat, rain and what seemed like thousands of birds kept us company until sundown.

Sunday morning was much cooler and not as muggy as Saturday evening. Chris and I were parked at our hunting spot by 6:15AM. Upon exiting the truck, we heard two Florida Panthers growling to our left and right. I’ve got a feeling we interrupted their hunting plans. We continued to hear the growls from various directions throughout the first hour of our hunt. The morning was cool and a fog had set in. We didn’t see any deer until 9:15AM when I spotted a doe come out of the cypress swamp about 25 yards behind me. I took a few pics and waited patiently for a buck to follow her trail. No luck… An hour later, I spotted another doe 150 yards directly in front of me, running through the clearing into the pines were Chris had set up. I sent a quick text as a FYI. Luckily, Chris had already heard it approaching and he took some great video of the doe crossing his stand.

In the end, we are not bringing home any venison today, but we saw three doe and encountered growling panthers in only two hunts. That’s AWESOME! Thank you again Chris for joining me this weekend. Also, a big thank you to my sponsor, Stone Hart’s Gun Club & Indoor Range and to my family for your continued support. See below for some photos and the video of the doe.

October 19 & 20, 2013

-Erik Alexander