Since moving to Rock Hill I’ve been doing a lot of deer hunting, or at least a lot more than I did around Charleston.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely deer hunted in Charleston, but there was always something pulling my attention one way or the other; fishing, tying flies, shrimping, football, parties, work (though work very rarely kept my attention).  Here I have, let’s say, a simpler life in many ways. Not any more time than I had in Charleston, but certainly fewer distractions, so I’ve found myself spending most of my free time in the woods trying to kill a deer.

“Trying” is the operative word in the above sentence.  So far this season has been a bust.  I’ve did see one small doe, which I could have shot legally, but I let her pass by. Now, over a month later, that has been the only deer I’ve seen and my freezer is empty.

I wouldn’t be taking it so hard if I hadn’t been spending so much time freezing my ass off in the woods.  I’ve been out at least once a week, if not more, since the start of the season.  I would have at least spooked a deer in that time if I were back on my home turf hunting. Of course back home I know the woods like the back of my hand.  Okay, not so well that I don’t occasionally get turned around and lost for hours at a time but well enough that I have the confidence to go into slightly less familiar areas and know I’ll eventually come out somewhere where I can get my bearings.  I don’t have that luxury here in the Rock Hill area.  Every bit of info I have on the surrounding area is gleaned from Google Earth, DNR maps, and the scantest amount of actual scouting (which is the only way to get any real info).

I shouldn’t complain too much though.  Soon it’ll be prime time for small game; squirrel, rabbit, quail.  All great excuses to ramble around and learn the lay of the land.  By next year l should have more than the two stand sights I have this year. And who knows, deer season isn’t over yet.

Rock Hill SC

It’s been almost four months since my last post.

My family and I have successfully moved to the town of Rock Hill SC which is about thirty miles south of Charlotte NC.  It’s a nice town, as far as towns this removed from the ocean go.  My wife enjoys her new job and is doing quite well.  My oldest son is in school and is making good grades even if his behavior resembles that of a coked-up howler monkey.  I’m doing the stay at home dad thing which is mainly trying to keep my two year old son from destroying all the valuable objects we own while maintaining a small bit of my sanity.  All in all, life is pretty good.

The only complaint I have about Rock Hill, other than the lack of saltwater,  is that I don’t know the area.  I’ve found myself in a situation where I have to totally relearn the best places to fish and hunt.

I realized after the move that I took my knowledge of my local territory for granted. I knew the best places to fish depending on the tide and/or weather. I knew what would be the most dependable species to go after based on time of year.  And when it came to deer hunting I usually had a hard time deciding where I wanted to hunt because, well, I lived near a lot of woods and I’d spent thirty years rambling around in ’em.

So far, here in my new locale, I’ve found a few places to take the kids to catch a bream or two, maybe scare up a bass with the fly rod. I’ve even found a couple of places to set up deer stands as long as the wind’s blowing in the right direction.

I know, though, that if I keep my ear to the ground and feet moving, this place will feel like my own home turf in no time. And for some in my family, well…