Thursday, October 29, 2015
But I digress. Despite a big moon, it was as dark as it could be in the woods and I was frustrated by how many times I had to turn my headlamp on. As always, I heard some deer move as I was getting to the stand. Within a few minutes I was in my place, bow hanging beside me in the dark. No big deal. Very dark, about 45 degrees.
A doe came up the ravine below my stand and was softly bleating. No other deer responded and I never saw her, but she was there. All the leaves are still on the trees, which doesn't help matters. Around 30 minutes after sunrise - roughly the time I had a deer under my stand during my first hunt this year - a 4 point buck came up the ravine, I suppose trying to find that doe. He was off to the hard right of my tree stand and under heavy cover, including downed trees; I never felt like I had a clear, confident shot at 25 yards.
Again, taking a cue from other situations in adulthood, I stayed cool and about 20 minutes later, he reappeared to my left - where all my best shooting lanes exist. Time was getting on in the morning, now about 8:30am. I hoped he would swing down the hill to the network of deer trails near my stand, but he kept his distance at about 50-60 yards on the ridge, and slowly worked away from me.
I stayed in the stand until about 9:15am and had to go to work. Not surprisingly, on the walk out of the woods, I encountered the 4 point buck, who was lazily working his way back to my position. He bounded out of there pretty quickly. Then on the drive out of the property, I saw Big Boy again - a handlebar-racked 9 or 10 point buck who I last saw under a pine tree on a rainy day in September. He saw me and lept off, right up the trail to my tree stand.
Next time, I'll stay a little later in the tree stand. Cancel my 9:00 appointments!