We woke up at 4:00 a.m. to 34 degrees and a very calm morning but the morning didn’t stay that way; to say the least. We were dressed, gear loaded and headed out the door. We were just about to the end of the road when Richard realized he didn’t have his quiver. We made it to the house and back in 15 minutes so that ate up a little bit of our time. If there is one thing I hate to do, it is rushing in an airport or to get in my hunting stand-so I was already feeling like I was late since we still had a 20 minute ride to get to the hunting land.
It was still good and dark when we got there. I grabbed my gear and took off across the alfalfa field to the far end where we set my climber up yesterday. My climber was on a cottonwood tree with huge bark and I felt like the climber was going to slip out from under me…of course this was all in my mind since my Cougar Claw climber has never failed me. I just was not use to the texture of that cottonwood. It took me twice as long to get up the tree and set up ready to hunt.
Once everything was in place and I had a minute to sit and relax, I noticed that it was so quiet in these woods that I actually could hear a faint ringing in my ears which seemed to be far away. I took this minute to take in the smells and feeling of the woods.
As the day started to break and there was enough light to see clearly through the binoculars, I glassed the field. Nothing was stirring….well maybe a mouse or two since there were two hawks scanning the field at about 4 foot off the ground.
At 6:50 a.m. there was a little 6 point that worked his way across the alfalfa field headed to the corn field behind me. At 7:40 a.m. I noticed a movement about 175-200 yards across the field on the edge of the trees. With the naked eye I made out antlers; BIG antlers!! I pulled up my binoculars to my eyes and as soon as he came in focus I instantly starting hearing my heart beat in my ears. Not only did I hear my heartbeat—I heard my bladder loud and clear. I don’t know why that happens to me every time I see a turkey or shooter deer on the field. I thought to myself that he will either go towards Richard or come toward me.At that exact moment he turned and walked about 20 yards off the field line STRAIGHT TOWARD ME! His main beam was at least two inches outside of his ears, main frame eight point. I put the binoculars down for a split second and dug “Crackie” out of my pocket to text Richard (the exact text verbatim):
7:40 My text to Richard: “D@$N! I got a BIG oner 200 yfds across the field headed 2 me I got to pee”
7:41 Richard’s text to me: Huw big
At this point the buck turned back toward the woods and was walking along the creek that separated the fields that we were hunting.
7:44 My text to Richard: A shooter no d@$n doubty. He is coming down the tree line.
7:48 Richard’s text to me: I c him
Somewhere in between these twisted texts, I got one from Wendy:
7:47 Wendy’s text to me: my scope has to be off! i have shot at 2 deer this morn a lil buck at 20 yrds and a doe bout the same dist away and have missed both? R U KIDDING ME?
7:51 My text to Wendy: CRAP bout scope! OMG! OMG! OMG! The biggest d@$n buck just walked across thecfield @ 200 yds and headed for richard. He just txt me & he sees him I got to pee and I am shaking BIG
7:52 Wendy’s text to me: OMG! I hope he gets him. You better send me pictures.
8:03 Richard’s text to me: I was watching him in the woods then lost him
8:04 My text to Richard: I don’t c him anymore
8:06 Richard’s text to me: He is 200 yrs headed away from me. He was at least a 150 class
8:27 My text to Richard: Crap! If I would have had a rifle that joker would have been headed to bama
As you can probably tell by the texts, things got a little exciting for a moment or two. Well, Richard watched the big 8 walk into the woods on a cow trail. The craziest thing happened. I have never had buck fever; even after shooting some nice bucks. This 150 class buck didn’t get any closer than 150 yards from me and the minute I put the binoculars on him, my heart went to racing and I could not only feel my heartbeat in my neck—I could hear it pulsating in my ears; it was almost deafening. My teeth went to chattering and wouldn’t stop no matter how hard I clenched them…then the legs got started. It was almost comical. Lord knows I would have had to dig deep and shoot straight had he been right under me. I usually do my best work under pressure, but that sure would have put me to the test.
Things were quiet until about 25 minutes later when a cantankerous red squirrel decided that the certain particular “only partially straight tree” in that certain 40 acres was ITS tree and I had no business being in it. It started circling the tree base. Then it got in the tree to the left of me at eye level…then went clean to the top of that tree only to jump over into the tree to the right of me and come down eye level. Then it went all the way to the ground and went up the tree directly behind me. This could not be good, I thought to myself. Our gray squirrels we have at home in Alabama are not this brave. This joker knew I was an intruder and being about two and half times the size of an Alabama squirrel it thought it was going to win this stand-off. I didn’t want to blatantly shoo him away because he would start that annoying barking; you know the one…it is a kind of screech-whine!!
Well, it happened pretty quickly. I heard it coming up the tree behind me and I figured if anything he would jump onto my tree above or below me-which was not going to be a problem because I would just stand up and shoo it away; which meant I would probably have to listen to his barking for the next 30-45 minutes. It jumped alright…straight onto my bow hanger, which in turn rocked my bow, which sent my hand up grasping for my bow, which sent the squirrel to the tree about the height of my face…it all seemed to be slow motion at this point. This Kamikaze squirrel was mid-air, all fours stretched in different directions and splat it hit the tree, its tail brushing my face mask and ear and around the tree is scurried only to hit my backpack that went swinging…then I heard it, an audible “THUMP” right at the tree base. I looked down and the squirrel leapt up and onto a leaning tree right beside me. It was shaking and whipping its tail in a fevered rant. He almost had this look like “I really meant to do that…made you jump didn’t I??” I remembered Crackie was still in my hand so I quickly took a picture before he departed. Well, it went on its merry way and I was left with a smug look on my face and I still was in THE TREE. Hmmph!!
As I was putting Crackie back in my coat pocket I looked up and toward the field and guess what was staring back at me….a 4×3 Mule deer. He was as dumbfounded as I was. We stared at each other for about 15 seconds before he calmly turned and headed down the tree line. Mulies beat all I have ever seen—surely they are, without question, the easiest deer to hunt; the goofy critters!!
Not liking the position of my climber, we decided to put up a ladder stand in the staging area between the fields, right off the creek. The afternoon hunt was not as eventful as the morning hunt, but we definitely seen some deer. I saw over 40 turkeys, 18 of which worked the entire length of the field in a line looking for grasshoppers and other insects and seeds to feed on. No sign of the fat little red squirrel though!!
I snapped a picture of a beautiful sunset as I was gathering up my stuff to depart the stand. Internet is a little slow in these parts so hopefully you will be patient and come back to see how Monday’s hunt unfolds.
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009