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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finally Some Action

To say the start of my season was slow would be a huge understatement! I think I sat 7 or 8 times this year and never saw a deer from my stand. I had trail cam pics, so I knew there were deer in the area, but for some reason I wasn't seeing them. I was hunting a piece of woods owned by the company I work for, so having it to myself I thought I would do good. There was my problem....thinking!

After pulling my stands from the previously mention area, I decided to move into my assigned area in the Duluth City hunt. I scouted Wed. afternoon. After jumping a deer I started to look around for trees. I didn't find much that I thought would work for my needs. I kept scouting. When I didn't find much that looked any better I went back to the area where I had jumped the deer. As I was looking at that tree again, I heard something behind me. As I turned I had a basket 8 pointer walking towards me at 20 yards. I decided at that time to try and make this tree work! The tree was a cluster of 3 smaller maples. If you can picture this I have 2 trees at my back and the other just off my left shoulder and there is a gap of about a 2 foot gap between trees that I can shoot though.

I waited until Thursday morning to hunt the stand. At this time of year I am all about the all day sit. Dark to dark is my motto. There was a light blanket of snow on the ground and about 26 degrees. I figured this to be a prefect morning, but there I went thinking again. By 11:30 I hadn't seen or heard anything moving. I was starting to second guess my stand choice. About that time I heard one crash and looked to see a doe being chased by a spike within 20 yards of my stand. Then after my shock wore off, I heard something else coming and this time at least I had my bow in hand. Another doe followed them up and while I was ready to take the doe, she stopped behind some brush and turned a different direction than the others did. Foiled again! I heard something else coming. This time it was a small 6 pointer. Of course he came by slow enough that I could have shot him 5 ways from Sunday! About 5 mins after they had gone I heard something from the direction they went. Here came a small 8, but he was headed my way. I had applied Border Crossings Deer Herd in a Stick to my clothes and boots, and it's my belief that he smelled it and came towards me instead. He came through my area and when he finally figured out that there were no deer there, he circled back around and maybe caught up to the others. I thought it was pretty funny that about a hour later the spike and the 6 came back up the trail....alone! The only good thing was the both freshened a scrape about 40 yards from my tree. The night ended with another spike and a different small 8 working through. Right at dark I notice a form about 50 yards out. As light was fading fast I could make out a face of a deer either sniffing the air or licking a branch. The other thing I could make out was a main beam that went out along ways. I was pretty sure this was a big deer. I ended up stand in my stand another 45 mins into dark to let this deer move off and not blow my set up.

I realize this is getting long....but the best and worst is yet to come!

Friday morning I was in my stand a hour before shooting time. Just after legal shooting time arrived I heard some antlers banging together behind me. To me it sounded like a human sequence, and it may have been, but 15 mins later a 2 1/2 year old 8 pointer was hitting that same scrape from the day before. He moved off but came back through my area 3 times in about a hour. In the meantime the wind had switched just a bit and was blowing the direction the bigger deer at dark from the night before had come. I decided to put out some VS-1 made by the company mention earlier. So hear I am within the 1st hour of shooting time, climbing down to place 2 scent pads. One back and to my left and one front left. Back in my stand for about 10 mins, that 8 had come through again. After he was gone I noticed my front scent pad had fallen off the branch. This was bugging me to no end. Down the tree I went again.

As I settled into my stand again another half hour past and it was pushing 9 when I heard something coming from my back left, but out aways. Here came another buck and he was heading towards my front scent pad. The wind was not blowing towards him though. I noticed he was a good sized buck. Turned out to be a very nice 10 pointer that I later figured was in the mid 120's.

Back to the story. He was heading towards that front corner. I was going to try and take this deer. As I got ready he got a whiff of the scent pad to my back left and turned and moved that way. So now I had to try and turn and get my bow over there. That tree on my should only left me with about a foot of room, but I got turned and was ready. He moved to with 8 feet of the scent. When his head was behind a cluster of birch I drew. He was going to be at 20 yards broadside. He stopped before his body cleared the birch. I held, and held. Then he decided to turn back and go back the other way. So now I had to try and turn again. I got the bow back around as he walked to about 10 yards from me. It was getting really exciting at this point. All I had to do was get my feet around and him to take 2 more steps. He was now 7 yards away.I was half way home on my turn when my boot caught a clip for the backpack straps on my stand! It sound like banging metal and the buck erupted out of there. I could not believe my luck. I had turned twice and missed it, but not this time. He only jumped about 15 yards, but of course it had to be in the thickest cover in the area. So I decided not to try and punch a shot through. Then I was forced to watch him walk away.

I was pretty bummed out about this since it was the biggest buck I had seen in about 7 years. I don't think he knew what happened, or maybe he did, I can only hope I see him again, or better yet something bigger! The rest of the day it got really warm and I think the deer bedded.

I guess that's why they call it hunting!


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