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November 12, 2007

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Hi, I'm Bill, and I'll Be Your Hunter This Season

On Wednesday, the deer that will make or break my year were formally introduced. Both he and the doe he was dogging appeared under my stand without so much as a crunched leaf, the kind of physical impossibility at which whitetails excel. They came, of course, from behind me and downwind. So either I was well and truly scent-proofed or they were just too focused on each other to care.

He was probably a big eight. I knew he was just outside the ears and heavy, but it was over too fast to count points. I remember the instant of contact and my brain registering "Shooter." I remember his body, which either was or seemed huge. Above all else, I remember the way he moved. Like a linebacker. Big yet compressed. A swollen neck and an abundance of muscle not meant for show. Every ounce of his form focused and available to his will. Facts of which he was fully aware. He was, in short, the Man.

I tried to swing on him and found, as in a bad dream, that I couldn't. It was my harness tether. I'd had to guess which side of the tree when turning to set up, and I'd guessed wrong. Hog-tied by my own hand, I froze and hoped for a miracle. That he'd either change direction and come back to my operative side or look elsewhere long enough to let me duck the tether.

It was not to be.

He stopped, looked straight up at me, and disapproved of what he saw. He bounded just 30 yards off to reassess, screened by brush. Then he took off after the doe again. I stood there, flooded, knowing I'd blown as close an encounter as you can have from 18 feet up.

I'm hoping it was Round One and not End of Story. The happy couple cavorted by two hours later, still flirting and well out of range.

At least I know who I'm hunting now.

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Comments

Bubba

Hmmmmm....! Sounds familiar!
Last day of ML season. I'm sitting in a blind with an old favorite BP rifle with globe front sights and a Vernier tang peep sight.
Just before dark, right hand out the window of my pop-up, emitting a doe "estrous" bleat every 20/30 seconds. He shows in the only spot I can't get a shot. His actions tell me that he's got my location pegged! He works around to my left, slowly, dodging and ducking in and out of the brush! Finally! An opening at about 75 yards reveals a really nice buck! Rifle up, TOO DARK!!! I can find his throat patch through the gloom of the rear aperature, but NO SIGHT PICTURE!
With great regret, I uncock the rifle and lower it! I sit quietly until I can no longer hear him moving about! Hopefully, unmolested, he will return during rifle season!
Probably one of the hardest but BEST decisions I will make this year!

Bubba

Tommy

Hail Sire - You guys have nothing - for I am moron = king of the stupid. Check out what I did last week; and try not to laugh.

I was at the persimmons spot I have told you about. Last Tuesday. I must tell you I have been waving off a grey fox here for weeks. He comes in after the squirrels and makes the woods quite noisy. He is not worried about me any more either. And it is still short of fox season here in NC.

OK. That bit front-loaded for you - fast forward to last Tuesday. I am on stand and rattle in a bruiser of the low, wide-racked variety. He is ripped and pissed - the best I have seen far this season. He is at fifty yards through the thickest of cover, and stops with his head behind a tree. Then the fox shows, chasing a tree-rat up a tree. The deer backs up several paces and looks to be about to bust out. I risk standing, and pointing to my right. Bang! The cloud clears and yep - still standing there! Damn. I fish in my pouch - shaking - and pull the much needed ingredients for another shot. I glance over and he is still there. I glance back to my open palms and something I need is not! The charges have fallen to the ground - 20 feet below. I compose myself after a round of extreme obcenitites go through my mind. I slowly climb down, watching him slowly amble off, totally un-alarmed - I cannot believe it. I have a summit, open shot, very quiet, very deadly, very easy to get down after lowering my gun. Once down - I retrieve the lost ingredient and re-load. I crawl about ten paces to where I will be able to get off a shot. I think I have 20 minutes of light left. I rattle the hell out of the set for about ten seconds; beating the crap out of the ground and grunting for all I am worth. I wait about 10 minutes and repeat.

Then the fox comes back! He sees me on the ground for the first time and books. I gather my stuff; thinking all is lost, and head out to the field. As I walk the edge, hoping something might pop out before absolute darkness, I see the fox has come back at the wood-line. He actually stands about ten foot away and stares. I shit you not - he sits. I thought - this thing doesn't look rabid at all, he is just not scared of me, (I threw an arrow at him the first time I hunted the area in September). I think, I will call him; and go, ''come here buddy'', in a childish voice. He sits up, having never heard my voice before, and looks back into the woods. I think I will walk away, only to see him bolt. Then a crashing is coming. I crouch in the field, stand on my back, and pin-point which game-trail-head I think he may come out of. Then I realize the wind is at my back! He will surely test the air as soon as he gets near the edge of the woods - then bolt. I think I may have a chance - it will have to be quick. My muscles tense. I am so focused. He comes just to the edge. I see a bit of neck! Bang! Missed again - deflection.
Too bad. The fox - wins again.

Now that is a hunt gone wrong. But it was one of the funnest times I ever had hunting.

Later

alabama boy

all i want is a BIG midwestestern buck this year and i have been waiting, this story is little funny for those of you that have ever taken a twelve year old hunting before..there's nothing wrong with taking them and it's great that they enjoy the woods, but they shoot any deer that walks out. My brother in law has just picked up deer hunting about a couple of years ago, when i moved to the mid west, and since then, he finally took his first deer with a bow last year. so we are hunting a couple of weeks ago and i have two stands that are fairly close to each other, and he is at one and i am at the other. we decide that if one of us gets a deer then he will stay put in hopes that the other will get one. shooting light approaches and i let off a couple grunts, no sooner do i do that than a little half rack small buck comes through the woods looking for the source of the grunt. he gets broadside of me at 30yds and i draw back just for practice, knowing that i am not going to shoot such a ridiculusly small deer and he cuts and goes toward my brother in law and i know that he will pass him up as well because we have been talking about the big ones that we have in our area...as soon as this thought crossed my mind all of a sudden, i hear the *whack* of his bow string and i see this tiny buck running back towards my stand with an arrow stuck in him. after all the excitement was over my brother in law began to send text messages to my phone asking about the deer, asking could he get down, and all kinds of other stuff, until i finally got out of my stand at 8am...MAN! so after the hunt i told him that buck was too small and told him how to tell the difference....so even though he is almost thirty, he hunts like a kid..can't say i blame him, we all get the chance to hunt like that at the beginning...i just can't wait on my shot at a monster




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