Hi all, this is my very first post here... Last year I tried archery for my first ever deer season. I actively hunted from September til January, and wound up slapping a tag on a roadkill because I desperately needed to put SOMETHING in the freezer.
This year, I've tried everything I could think of to put something in the freezer. So far, the closest I've come is nearly hitting one with my truck- and at the rate I'm sinking $ (that I don't have, I'm disabled) into this mess, it may very well be cheaper and easier to hunt with a Ford than an arrow, slug or bullet.
I went to a public area at the opening of Kansas firearm season (my first firearm season), and was horrified to see people literally everywhere I looked- even if I could have taken a shot at anything, with so many people all over the place (some not even wearing blaze orange) it just wasn't safe- so I left.
So, I went to another public area, and the poachers there were terrible. I found two headless carcasses, with only the backstraps cut out. A month ago, I also came across a pile of 14 dead deer (one headless buck, the rest were young-ish does) with only the backstraps removed. I told the game warden and he said essentially there wasn't much to be done, unless the people were caught in the act.
Another hunter I talked to said he'd lined up a good shot on a decent buck, when someone shot it right out from under him; by the time he got there, the people had chopped off its head and split (he said it was a dark blue dually with Texas tags)...and he said he'd heard other hunters had this same thing happen. Problem is, they just drive a few miles & they're in Oklahoma.
The deer here have been hit hard by the drought, and the warm weather means they're just not active during the day...plus the poachers are just horrible. Normally they're in plague proportions and are a huge agricultural pest, but I haven't seen hide nor hair of anything, except squirrels and the occasional rabbit (I shoot those too, they're good eating).
I'm honestly at my wit's end. I don't have a "mentor" (I don't know anyone) and I don't have the deep pockets to afford a lease or a guide; I'm on a very tight budget and have to justify the expense of hunting with results somehow. I'm not even interested in a trophy; I'm just wanting to put food on the table and really only want to shoot a doe. I went so far as to put my name on the Sheriff's roadkill pick-up list, but haven't gotten a call.
I just don't know what to do. I've worked so hard at this, but it seems everywhere I go someone else has beaten me to the punch. I guess I could just shoot more rabbits and squirrels, but I have a tag and I'd like to fill it somehow, even if it means scavenging another roadkill. (One guy told me to just go spotlighting in the middle of the night and shoot one...way to promote ethical hunting to a beginner.)
Honestly, I'm about ready to throw in the towel- and I don't know if I'll even bother with deer hunting next year. Words of wisdom, advice, or suggestions would be most welcome. If it helps, I live near Wichita.