Well, my 2021 modern firearm season is over, so here's my report...
Whidbey Island was unusual for us this year...early in the summer our zone was loaded with deer, including a lot more bucks than usual...but come hunting season, they didn't just go nocturnal, they also vacated the premises.
There weren't hardly any does around, and when the rut approached, that meant there weren't many bucks around.
Long story short, I only saw one decent buck during hunting hours and wasn't able to get a good enough shot to seal the deal.
Last year Nick and I went over to Kettle Falls to our turkey zone for late whitetail, which is smack dab in between western general and late seasons...and I passed on several decent bucks last year while over there. With my observations on Whidbey, I wasn't convinced of my success during late season here, so I decided to knock down the first good two point or better that I saw in Kettle Falls.
Game cam intel showed a handful of decent shooters, including two 2-point brothers that were always together, at all hours of the day and night...the same two brothers that I passed on last year, from the looks of them.
There were some other good ones around, but none had shown themselves during hunting hours...until the day before we arrived, and a shiny new 5-point was at my far south cam on 7:30 am, noon, and again at 4:30pm...he was kinda asking for it.
Being the good host, Nick was going to go hunt that deer on the morning of our first hunt, and I was going to go a mile north of there where one good deer was frequently around, but never yet during hunting hours...this one:
And, in spite of not having a single picture of him during the day, 20 minutes into hunting hours on our first morning he wandered into my zone, and my hunt ended 20 seconds later.
Went back to the house and got my old man, and he came to "help" me get it out of the woods...I mostly dragged the deer and him, too, but it was totally worth it; he was so excited to see that deer get harvested.
Having grown up in Western Washington, and having a cabin up by Lake Wenatchee for a lot of my teen years, I have shot plenty of blacktail and mule deer, but this was my first whitetail, last year was the first time I ever hunted for them.
My dad didn't buy his property so I could hunt on it, but it sure has worked out well for that, too!