Mid day? Who hunts and has success sitting in the woods in the middle of the day?
So there I was. Sitting in a box stand at 2pm. I’d been in the stand at 2pm before, but I’d never started at that time. Even so, I was sitting on top of what looked like the Whitetail Super Highway, so I figured something would be along shortly. I was right. Took all of 30 minutes before a young doe was milling around not 50 yards in front of me. I watched her for probably half an hour before a 7 point buck came out and started grazing with her. Hunting on another person’s property that is in the business of selling deer hunts means that young bucks like this one are off-limits to guests like myself. I’m invited to help with culls and crowd control, which is fine by me.
My friend Beau says there’s this particular spike that he’s been seeing that needs to be removed from the property, due a likelihood of spreading bad genetics.
Another half our goes by and a couple of new deer come out. One is a small 9 point buck and the other is the spike that Beau said needed to go. I shoot Beau a message asking if he’s sure that he wants this deer taken out of the gene pool. He confirms.
I pick up my rifle to begin to take aim, and in my focusing on the cull buck, the 9 point catches me moving and has his eyes locked on me. Not good. Time to play the statue game and see who gets tired of not moving first. I win and both deer go back to grazing. I find the spike in my scope and they both start looking my way again.
I start to thinking that these two are about to take off, so I’ve got to get the shot off quickly. I decide to go for a neck shot, close to his head. That way, either he drops right there, or if the starts to take off, I miss. I’d rather miss altogether versus wounding the animal and have him suffer for several days, eventually dying of an infection. Either way, time is running out, as both of these deer are starting to flick their tails.
The spike stops moving his head and my cross hairs find his neck. I press the trigger, the rifle wakes up, and both deer take off.
I stay in the stand just to see what else might show up. Less than 5 minutes later, 9 doe appear from the woods and start grazing. This is pretty funny to me, as I was sure that the report from my rifle would have startled off any deer within several hundred yards. Guess not.
I get an awesome surprise after another 30 seconds – the spike comes back. Sweet. A chance at redemption.
I watch him mill around with the herd of does, waiting for a broad side shot. I’m going for the pump house this time. I can’t miss twice. He turns and gives me what I’ve been waiting for while I’m looking through the scope, so I let loose another copper slug and this one finds it’s way home. He tucks his tail and makes a break for the woods.
I give it a few minutes and start to climb down from the stand, as its starting to get dark and I’d rather not track a deer at night. The degree of difficulty goes up significantly. I find a patch of hair where he was standing, a good sign, and about 10 yards from there, several spots of bright pink, frothy blood. Got him in the lungs, for sure.
A few minutes later, Beau shows up to help with the tracking, and we start stomping through the woods. It’s getting darker quickly, so Beau calls for some reinforcements. Max, the meat-seeking fur missile of I’m-not-sure-what breed that Beau’s grandpa rides around on the plantation. Max gets straight to work.
It takes Max all of 10 minutes to find the deer, so Beau and I start dragging him out of the ridiculously thick woods that the deer tried to hide himself in before expiring. We haul him a hundred or so yards uphill to Beau’s truck.
I get to watch Beau demonstrate his tailgate method of deer processing, which is pretty sweet.
I really enjoy my trips to the deer stand, whether they’re productive or not. I enjoy sitting and observing and admiring nature. There’s usually always some interesting story that comes out of each trip. I look forward to the next one.
Take care of yourself.