It was literally a carnival of deer. That's what it was like for me the morning of November 3, 2021, when I went out hunting. A carnival? That is probably the most appropriate description I can come up with. Look up the word carnival and it says; including events such as parades, public street parties, and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus.

November 3rd started out early. I planned on getting up 20 minutes early to avoid a rush. I woke up 30 minutes earlier, so got up and got moving. The ride to the place I hunt was uneventful. I did make a couple of observations along the way. The city lights of Sioux Falls are easily visible from as far away as Parker. The other thing I noticed was there are NOT very many signs of road-kill or early morning wildlife. Yet. (I think that will soon change.)

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I got to the spot, got dressed with no stress. If you've hunted before you know what it's like when some mornings it's just harder to get ready in the dark. Getting dressed with a single light off the brim of your cap is different than in a fully lit bedroom.

The walk to the stand, uneventful. The climb up? Uneventful. I pulled up my bow, made final adjustments, and settled into the silence.

If you bow hunt, and you've ever hit the stand, NOT in a hurry with everything in place and settled in and felt quiet, and watched the world slowly come alive before your eyes you know what I'm talking about. There was a light southeast breeze. Perfect for my morning sit.

Win Tires for Your Ride-Show Us Your Trophy 2021

First, it was a doe, then 4 more. If you hunt the rut, this is encouraging. It wasn't but a few minutes and I noticed a smaller buck pushing a doe around, coming from the other direction. It felt like I was in the right place.

The first part of the carnival had deer all around my stand. Bucks scraping scraps and checking rubs. The smaller buck moved directly under my stand. He didn't booger off. This was going to be good. It wasn't long and the bigger buck that I decided was on my wish list squared up with a good shot. I thought he was 22 yards. Turns out he was at 29. I shot directly under him. Carnival #1 over.

I took a little time to eat a quick snack. I made a little noise doing that and then phase two of the carnival started up. The buck I was after stepped right back out. Then the smaller buck, then the 5 or 6 does. In a matter of minutes, the smaller buck was back directly under my stand. The bigger buck squared up in the same place I had missed earlier. It was in my head that that was too far for me that morning, so I waited.

When you're bowhunting, it's either extremely easy or not so much. That morning it was easy. The buck moved around to my right and squared up at 11 yards. Then he stopped.  Not yet in range. Then started walking. He moved into my area, I squared up and pulled back. The shot? Perfect as I have ever made.

When it's easy. It's easy. When you are sitting above a carnival of deer and deer activity and the wind is right, there is no better thing to do on a day off from work. The tracking was easy. The find was awesome.

The best part of the hunt was sharing the story with friends. Oh, and the fact that they were there to help me pull out, and load up, well that was the icing on the cake.

Was he the biggest deer I've ever harvested? No. But was the hunt as perfect as a hunt can get? Was the day as perfect as the weather can be? Yes!


Life on a Cattle Ranch in Western South Dakota

Life is different out in the country. One look at the photo from Robin Bickel and you quickly realize that a workday is quite different as well, after all, she lives out west in South Dakota Cattle Country.

Robin Bickel took time to tell KIKN Country a little bit about her life out west and life as a woman, working outdoors with animals and nature in God's Country. Bickel lives and works on a cattle ranch operated by herself, her father, Jack, and his brother Keith. How far out in the country is she? How does 50 miles west of Mobridge, South Dakota sound? Yep, mountain time out there.

Life is so different in Sioux Falls, South Dakota compared to what our friends on the farm and ranches deal with. It's a half-mile to the grocery store for our family. For Robin, it's 17 miles. However, it's a quick step out her door and she's right in the middle of where a lot of the groceries come from.


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