Note inserted on Tuesday evening…late:
Wednesday is Field and Stream’s top voted day for deer hunting and it suggests that you stay in the woods the entire day. So that is our plan at this hour. Unfortunately that means that I will be unable to load today’s blog (Tuesday’s blog) until tomorrow evening…but folks you are not going to want to miss this entry–hilarious and heart thumping all at the same time. I have to head to bed for the 4:00 a.m. alarm and one long day. Until tomorrow night…sweet dreams and have a wonderful Veteran’s Day. A deep heartfelt THANK YOU to all that served in the military. ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL.
Blog inserted Wednesday night of Tuesday’s hunt:
At last..at long last…TUESDAY’S HUNT!! Sorry for getting a little long winded with this one….but this hunting is just good stuff.
Brrrr….the morning started off with 25 degree weather. This southern girl couldn’t put on enough clothes to quit shaking. I had on my wool socks, Rocky cold weather base layers, topped with my ScentLok Classic base Layers, an extra long sleeve shirt, and my ScentLok TimberFleece; and I was still shaking in the tree and my feet were numb. Okay, I will be the first to admit that I get cold before I get hot—but if I had one more layer, I think I would have been fine…of course, I would have probably had to have help getting in my stand because I would have looked like the little brother on “A Christmas Story”.
My morning hunt was really slow and I had one doe and yearling come out onto the alfalfa field. About 9:20 a.m. I was just about to pull Crackie out of my pocket to text Richard and tell him I was going to the truck because I was cold and wasn’t seeing anything. I had just stuck my hand in my pocket and glanced over toward Richard’s stand when movement caught my eye. There was a buck on the edge of Richard’s field walking straight toward his stand. I threw up my binoculars to get a better look at the buck. He was about a 130 class 8 point and he was headed straight toward the Flambeau Boss Buck decoy. I could not see through the tree line real well but Richard told me that the buck circled behind him at about 40 yards to the tree line and started pawing the ground. Then he started walking up to the decoy sideways all bristled up and straightened out parallel about 5 yards from the decoy and charged the decoy knocking the head off. I had my binoculars down and was trying to pick up the buck’s movement when a boom as loud as a canon going off rang through the woods. I actually jumped it was so loud. I through the binoculars up toward the decoy and watched as the decoy’s head came to a stop from rolling on the ground. Then I heard blowing in the edge of the woods just past the decoy and then the buck came barreling out of the woods about 40 yards behind the decoy high tailing it as hard as he could.
At this point I did not know if Richard had taken a shot at the buck or not because I was just guessing his size. I watched as the buck ran across the field and into and across the strip of woods that I was sitting in. He stopped about 60 yards from me and blew about 3 times. I hit the grunt call just to see how he would react. He swung his head in my direction lurching forward and was high tailing it out of the woods and across the alfalfa field. I grunted once more and he came to an abrupt stop in the middle of the alfalfa field and looked my way, blew and took off again. I had to giggle a little because I know that guy had never had his tail whooped by a plastic buck before. He was sure going to give it a good fight until he heard that loud bang and the bucks head went rolling. I wish I would have had the video camera rolling. Priceless!!
The afternoon hunt got off to a really slow start. I watched a flock of 18 toms work the field from the high end to their roosting tree. When they got toward the roosting tree and was doing their stretching and circling of each other like they always do before flying up, I had a doe and yearling that had walked out right below me. The little yearling looked to be stunted and had two knots the size of half dollars where his pedestals were supposed to be and had what appeared to be bony growths under the skin just above his eye bones to the pedestals. He didn’t appear as if anything else was wrong with him health wise other than being a little too big for his britches. This was evident when he took off out in the middle of the flock of turkeys and started frolicking by kicking up his heals, rearing up and spinning in circles. The doe looked as if she said “not again” and went trotting out there to him. Believe it or not, one of the toms bowed up at the little fellow and even flew up into the air as if trying to spur them like two toms do when they fight. The little guy just kicked up his hills and ran in a big circle only to come barreling into the middle of them again; which sent the toms into a panic and some started flailing and trying to fight with each other. I have a short video I took with Crackie and I will see if I can get it loaded. Now if that type of stuff doesn’t bring a smile to your face and tug at a heart string when you see it, I don’t know what would.
I didn’t see any deer movement again on the field until about 4:40 p.m. when two does with yearlings came onto the field. At this point I was fighting a hard battle with sleep deprivation and the nods were winning. Somewhere between almost dropping my binoculars and the faint thought that I was sleeping on my comfy loveseat at home, I thought I heard a grunt. I looked up quickly to see a little seven point chasing a doe in circles. The doe finally came to a stop with some other does and the buck started sniffing the ground. I looked at my watch and it was 5:20 p.m. When I looked back up, I heard a bunch of leaves rustling in the corner of the field just over the terrace followed by a deep grunt. At the exact moment I got my eyes focused on where I thought the sound was coming from, the huge 150 class 8 point came busting over that ridge. About 20 yards down a doe came off that ridge followed by a yearling running flat out. The big 8 followed in behind them and ran a huge circle in the field. He stopped where the doe ran into the group of slick heads that were already on the field. He put his nose to the ground and was sniffing while walking in small circles.
Just past the buck walking in circles I saw the little 7 point walk up to the turkey chasing button buck which cowered down to him for a second. The little button buck picked up his head and sniffed the 7 point then butted him pretty good. He jumped and bucked a complete circle around the 7 point and stopped directly in front of him. When he did the 7 point stuck his head down and pushed toward the little button buck. Believe it or not the little button buck ducked his head and stuck it right between the bucks antlers and pushed back. Then I seen the 7 point jump sideways and started high tailing it to the terrace. Two does were running hard at him, one with her ears flat back. I guess they weren’t going to let the 7 point set the little “too big for his britches” button buck in his place. And of course the little button buck once again did a victory loop, bucking, leaping and running flat out dipping and dodging. Whew, I bet he is a full time job for that doe at least for a few more weeks. That little buck is going to have a hard row to hoe if he doesn’t learn quickly that momma is not going to be there to rescue him too much longer.
Back to the big 8…I turned my binoculars toward the 8 point who was walking behind two does when one trotted away and the other looped back and ran a big circle, stopping about 80 yards out in front of my stand. At this point it was 5:35 p.m. and I was just about out of shooting light. She started walking straight to my stand and stopped at 30 yards. The buck started to trot toward her and she sprinted to within 20 yards of my stand and put her head down in some rice meal that I had on the ground in front of a camera on a tree. The buck dropped down to a trot and got within 10 yards of her, dipped his head and walked up to the side of her. This buck was at 20 yards!!! I didn’t have a clean shot because the doe was in front of him parallel to his body covering his vitals. I looked at my pins and turned on my pin light. I just kept thinking to myself move, just two steps, move. The buck stepped forward about a half a step and still had his head in the meal the doe stepped back about a half a step and her head was just below the bucks vitals. What was going through my mind was 90 to nothing….if I shoot and she raised her had to my shot I am going to hit the doe in the head. I couldn’t take that shot. I just kept praying, move, move, ahhhh, please come on already, MOVE!!.
The buck turned his head and was sniffing the meal at his left front hoof giving me the most perfect broadside shooting area an archer could ever ask for. The doe stepped back a half a step more and there it was the perfect set up for the shot. At the moment that I started putting tension on my release, the doe lifted her head and stuck it straight out looking at the camera on the tree right in front of the rice meal on the ground. Ahhhh, no, no, NO!! The buck spun on his haunches and walked back behind the doe in an area that I didn’t have a shot because of a long hanging branch. Wait a minute, wait a minute…he is fixing to come out in the clear 25-35 yard area that I had ranged off a billion times in the last three times I hunted this stand. Okay, he is at 30 yards!! It was at this point that I realized it was too dark to even attempt this shot. I have the new G5 Optix XR2 sight with one set pin and a floating pin and when I looked at the yardage wheel I could not even see the yardage marks. Even with my regular 5 pin Toxonics sight it would have been too dark-not only would I have had trouble with my pins I was only seeing a good outline of the buck. I just didn’t realize how long I had waited for the doe to move for my shot. Time flies when you are holding steady trying to pray for the perfect shot. Folks, this night it was not meant to be. But it was definitely exciting to say the least.
I also am very excited and pleased to say that I didn’t get even a touch of buck fever…..which I was really worried about after my experience of just seeing him at 150 yards. The minute I seen him on the field this night, I told myself to calm down and concentrate on the shot. Once I realized without a shadow of a doubt that he was a buck I would take a shot on, I quit looking at his horns and only concentrated on the presentation of his vitals for the shot. That and of course, shooting straight if I got the opportunity. Check back tomorrow evening for the happenings of Wednesday’s hunt and how close I came to getting ran over by a buck in hot pursuit-I have the picture to prove it.
Tomorrow is another day on the hunt and you know where I will be….
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009