A cool north wind was blowing pretty strong when I stepped out of the motel room this morning. That’s perfect for where I was going. I got settled into the stand about 6:00 and watched the forest come alive over the next hour. Beautiful morning but I didn’t see a single deer for the first two hours so I was getting pretty discouraged. About 8:00 a doe came through 25 yards from me with her button buck fawn and she was moving with a sense of urgency in her step. I thought that was odd.
About an hour later, a big 8-point buck came right on her trail and he was cruising through fast with his nose to the ground. I couldn’t stop him by grunting and he didn’t even slow down when I blew on the grunt call. I was disappointed because this was a really nice mature buck and a real dandy for an 8-point with long thick tines. I hoped that if the doe was interesting to him, maybe another buck would cruise through as well, or maybe he would find here and start chasing her back up towards me. Always the optimist.
Another hour went by when I caught movement of a doe doing zigzags through the bottom to my left and I know what that means so I grabbed my bow and turned on the video camera. She was 40 yards away and going in erratic directions when I saw the buck behind her. He was a decent 3-year-old and I wasn’t sure if I should shoot him or not if he came within range. Things were happening fast and I would have to make a decision in a hurry. Sure enough, the doe turned directly towards me so I wasn’t able to move at all to direct the camera at her. As she moved by, he followed and stopped broadside at 12 yards and gave me a shot I couldn’t pass up so I sent an arrow through his heart.
I started lowering my gear and by the time I got most of my stuff out of the tree it had been 15 minutes so I took up the blood trail which was very easy to follow and led right to him not far away. Strangely, I was never able to find the arrow at the impact or along the short blood trail even though I spent quite a bit of time looking.
I took one load of gear with the bike and cart back the 1 3/4 mile to the truck, then came back for the deer. After field dressing and hauling him out with the cart behind the bike, I was ready to roll down the highway by 12:30 and once I got my gear out of the motel I hit the road and drove as far as Omaha. I will finish the trip home tomorrow and then decide what to do with the remainder of November.
Pic of the buck in September sent to me by a friend.