This morning was unusually warm, 54 degrees when we headed out the door and no wind. Hoping that the F&S prediction was right we had planned to sit all day…or at least stay in the field all day. I packed a few things we could snack on for lunch and we were off.
The woods were so quiet you could just about hear yourself breathing. I am so use to hearing the morning wake up in Alabama…it starts with a few peeps and chirps, then the sounds of birds and bugs is almost deafening. Then the squirrels will nearly drive you insane with all their ground work. It is unusual to sit in the woods on our hunting land and not see at least half a dozen squirrels working the ground and trees for food. I have seen about a half dozen squirrels since I have been here an entire week. I have no clue how these little fat red squirrels stay so healthy…I haven’t seen any nuts, acorns or any other food for that matter. They have plenty of cottonwoods…I sure hope the cottonwood tree is prettier with leaves on them. These trees are the most crooked, dead looking tree I have ever laid eyes on; and who ever in the heck came up with the name COTTON wood has never tried to screw in a bow hanger or L-hook into one of these trees.
Richard started seeing bucks on his field right after daylight; three of which were shooters. I wasn’t so lucky-matter of fact I hadn’t seen anything until the 18 resident tom turkeys flew down and started their methodical march across the alfalfa field. I hated that the little “to big for his britches” button buck didn’t come out and give me a little entertainment; but not this morning. I sat for a long time and didn’t see but a few does and a yearling. I didn’t think at this point that F&S got this prediction right for these woods so I text Richard to see how long he was going to stay. Our plans were to move Richard’s stand during the lull of the day when deer were bedded to an area where bucks and does were coming over an area into the alfalfa field. He hadn’t much action since right after daybreak so he said in an hour he was coming down if he hadn’t seen anything.
An hour later I got a text that said he was going to get down and walk on the other side of the creek and then would head to the truck so I told him that I would meet him at the truck. I packed my stuff and started my descent down the tree. I stopped by the camera to pull the camera card when I heard leaves rustling and hooves hitting the ground. I looked up and saw a doe running. I froze. She was across the creek less than 25 yards when I heard the faint grunt. I started looking around dodging and darting as inconspicuous as possible to get a clear view of what buck was coming in behind her. She darted through the creek right in front of me and was standing and looking across the creek less than 15 yards to the side of me. I look at the area she is looking in to see a little young buck that was looking around erratically for this doe. She moved enough to make a sound and he saw her. He was coming across the creek in front of me as well. I am really in a predicament now..the doe hasn’t seen me, I am standing in the trail she is about to come charging down and she has a love-sick buck hot on her heels. There is not enough time in a split second to make a logical deduction of what is either about to happen or what you should do at that exact moment. The buck stopped briefly on the edge of the creek bank and the doe turned 180 degrees and stood there. My thoughts now were that she was going to go the other direction down this trail.
I slipped my hand in my pocket and grabbed Crackie to shoot a picture of this buck. I took the picture, which in turn caused the doe to hear the shutter sound making her turn another 180 degrees in my direction. I froze—Crackie in mid air in one hand, my backpack dangling in the other and my bow hanging off my shoulder. What now?? The buck charged through the ditch and the doe took off to her left diagonal from me which sent the buck right at me…that is as close as I have ever come to being ran over by a deer. Whew…. They circled back off of the field and back into the woods at the end of the field away from me.
As I was retrieving the camera card, I started thinking about the Grandma got run over by a reindeer song and I had to giggle when I started singing to myself….Nancy Jo got ran over by a reindeer…on her way back out the woods on Wednesday Eve…..you can just piece the rest of the song together. Now you know why I named my blog SHENANIGANS from the Field!! If it is going to happen, it is going to happen to me. I am just glad that I now have a video camera so I can prove these crazy things.
In the meantime, Richard had been scouting the other side of the creek and returned to his stand. I was just about to back out away from the camera when I looked onto the ridge above me and another buck was chasing does onto Richard’s field. I text him to let him know that I was getting back in my stand and not going to the truck and I could see he was climbing back into his so he must have seen them too. Well the buck busted off the field with the does and we didn’t see them again in the next 30 minutes so we decided to come down and get the stand moved. When I got back to the truck Richard told me there were actually two shooter bucks on the field chasing does, one he thought to be the big one we seen on day one, but he watched them go through his field, over the ridge and across the next field out of sight. Maybe if we had been more patient and stuck to our plan this morning there is a good possibility Richard could have had a chance and one of the two shooter bucks. Field and Stream may have been correct after all—we may have just not used the right strategy.
We finally relocated Richard’s stand. It was a tricky spot to find a good place to put the stand, but with a little ingenuity we made it work. We went to the truck for a bite to eat and to view the camera card and headed back out to hunt. The afternoon was slow and only a handful of doe and yearlings came out-some lone yearlings which meant does were chasing them off or they were being separated by bucks chasing the does. I hated that we didn’t see more action since I felt that I had convinced Richard to move his stand. But who knows what tomorrow may bring in that stand?
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009