Solutions to last-minute hunting problems need not be ideal.
Sometimes it seems like nothing is going your way. That's what I'm experiencing right now as I prepare for a Wisconsin bowhunt with pack manufacturer Mystery Ranch.
I purchased a new crossbow early this year. I shot it a few times to get it close, but I ran out of scope adjustment with the bow still shooting high. I assumed (yes, there's that word) there was an issue with the included scope, or that I might need to remount it and start from scratch.
And then magazine season kicked in, pushing the crossbow out of my mind ... until about two weeks ago when I started to prepare for the Wisconsin bowhunt. Remounting the scope and rings in several different positions didn't solve the problem, so I contacted new Buckmasters sponsor Sig Sauer and ordered a Sierra3 BDX in 2.5-8x32 – a really nice optic for a crossbow.
When I finally got around to mounting the new Sig this week, guess what. I ran out of adjustment again. The problem apparently isn't with the optics.
Unfortunately for me, I leave in six days and do not have time to send in the crossbow for service. To complicate matters further, I just had surgery recently and haven't been able to shoot a compound bow. I might be able to draw my bow now, but I wouldn't try to hunt without a few weeks of practice.
So, right now you're listing off all the things I should have done, not the least of which is positively identifying and taking action on the problem when I first noticed it. And you're right. But that doesn't solve the current dilemma.
As a deer hunter, you will be faced with problems like this. Equipment fails, weather ruins plans, land changes hands ... so many things can go wrong, and with deer seasons so short, your time to respond is limited.
In my particular case, I cut apart a soda can and placed two slivers of aluminum under the front scope mount. This is not ideal, nor is it something I would just perform and forget about. But it will get me through this deer season, after which I will send the bow back to the manufacturer for inspection and repair.
That, in a nutshell, is this week's tip: Last-minute solutions to hunting problems don't have to be ideal. They just have to get you back in action as quickly as possible (within the parameters of an ethical hunt).
My shim job on the scope is rock solid, and if I do my part, I won't have any problem taking a deer. If your hunting ground suddenly becomes off limits, ask around and find something just for this season. You won't have any knowledge of the property or the deer on it, but you will have infinitely better odds there than sitting at home. If your gun suddenly won't hold a pattern just days before the opener, borrow a gun to get you through (but please shoot it a few times to check the zero and become familiar with it). You get the idea. Do what you have to do for now.
Whether it's one of these examples or something else, you will be faced with challenges this year and every year. How you respond will make or break your season. Even if your solution is for the short-term, take the opportunity to get back in the game.