posted on July 21, 2013 10:31
By Mike Handley
Marion Goodpaster was enjoying his ringside seat during last year's snot-slinging contest, but he really wanted it to end before the curtain fell on his Nov. 11 hunt in Ripley County, Ind.
The hunter from Aurora, Ind., was between a belligerent buck and an equally mouthy doe, both determined to send the other running for cover. Had it not been for another doe come to see what all the fuss was about, Marion might've gone stark raving mad.
He can blame - and thank - his son-in-law for putting him in the middle of the not-so-domestic dispute on his parents' 43-acre farm.
He'd first seen the buck about 5:30, when it exited a nearby thicket. Although the wind was blowing in Marion's face, which meant the buck couldn't smell him, the deer hung up well beyond crossbow range and began stomping and snorting.
Marion wasn't sure if it had spotted him or a yearling that was browsing near his tree, or if it knew some does were feeding in a nearby hollow.
Eventually, one of the does came up the hill and began stomping and snorting. The buck was at 60 yards at that point, but coming closer.
Buck and doe were stomping and pawing the ground at each other when the other doe came up over the hill, heading straight for Marion. When the buck noticed her, it started getting really agitated. And when the first doe saw her, she went berserk.
"Ultimately, the buck tried to run off the second doe, a maneuver that brought it even closer," Marion said.
Who knows what goes through the mind of a whitetail?
Whatever the answer, it was the animal's last thought.
The 15-pointer carries a rack and a half, or maybe even two racks. The extra growth contributes 46 inches to its BTR composite score of 199 1/8 inches.
Ed Waite's story about this strange encounter will appear in RACK magazine this fall.