The only way I can correctly describe this afternoon’s hunt was that I was touched by the grace of God to witness it. WOW! Usually getting out of the stand at night I am in “fight or flight” mode (yes, I am still scared of the dark but geez, I’m walking alone in black woods – give me a break! ha!) but tonight, I just walked out with a smile on my face and feeling blessed.
With the possibility of a soon-to-be hot doe that was with that funky-racked buck this morning, I was headed to the same stand. Getting in though, the two were still in the area but I didn’t know they had moved down closer to the stand and scared them – dang it! I’m pretty sure it was the same buck and seeing a glance of him when running away, I don’t think he’s enough to shoot even if unique and mature.
Soon enough after setting up though, I looked out to see a doe on the field. Then on the next glance around there was buck feeding next to her. Glassing him, he’s a really nice 8-point and I was trying to decide if a shooter or not (oh here we go again!). I think it’s often hard judging 8s because they, for the most part, aren’t going to score as well and I want to make sure they are in fact mature and not up and coming with more tines to gain in the future.
Before too long, it was so funny as the best way I can describe it is a gang of young bucks rolled over the hill together and tried to act tough in front of the much bigger eight… but they were definitely steering clear from him. The young bucks fought each other in front of him and the doe and would circle around them but that was the extent of it. The eight looked really good out there in comparison.
The afternoon went on and it was so crazy, the deer were like roaches crawling out of the wood work! HOLY COW! Deer were filing in from everywhere!!!! And TONS of bucks! As I described to Matt, it was like this field was “Buck Training Camp” and everyone reported to show off their stuff and the does came to watch! I have no idea how many buck fights I watched through these few hours and I lost track of how many bucks were around! The 8-point still was on the field.
Then when the light was starting to dim, even more bucks rolled over the hill and two of them were big boys and possible shooters! All the bucks were now on the skyline and I could see them well. The eight looked great and I deemed him a shooter and I WANTED HIM! However, as soon as I decided that – I was able to see that his right brow was missing 🙁 so he went off my list. Shit. Another one of the larger bucks also had a broken brow – off the list. Shit. And the third buck looked very impressive and had one brow that was really tall and distinct… Oo! Maybe!
The whole evening was just sitting, watching and taking it all in. I ended up seeing at least 30 deer. Again, I can’t describe how really crazy awesome this hunt was. It is definitely one for my record books. And I don’t have to harvest a deer to have a successful hunt. I’m blessed to be a bowhunter and blessed to have been with nature in this stand tonight. Thank you, Lord!