By Tim Stewart
-- Bucks had been all around me, and I had no clue they were there.
Then I began scouting early one season, putting out a trail camera in midsummer. I began to get doe and fawn pictures right away. Several days later, the bucks started showing up. Three were nice, and one was at least a 10-pointer.
This got me excited about the upcoming bow season. I found what I thought would an ideal stand site during scouting. Deer were bedding on one side of it and feeding on the other side. A watering hole was in the middle.
Opening day of the bow season was a wet one. Still, I saw six or seven does. On day two, I got in the field a little later than I wanted because of work, but it wasn’t long before the deer started moving.
A couple of does came in right under me, milled around and then moved on. A half hour later, I heard something behind me. Up the hill on a grassy right of way were two bucks. One of them was the biggest deer I had ever seen!
I’ve been hunting for many years and thought I was well over the buck fever stage. Boy, was I wrong!
As the deer came down the right of way, I thought I heard other whitetails below me, rustling in the leaves. Then I found out what was making the noise. I was shaking, and as I did so, my bow was hitting a tree branch.
One of the deer was approaching. The other had heard the noise and stopped.
I regained my composure and was ready to draw, but the pair mingled a bit longer and then walked away.
Every day I went out after that, I would see at least one of those bucks. I did move my tree stand a bit to get a full draw on the big 10 point, only to have my arrow fall off the string with him 13 yards. Aww, shucks!
My wife and I saw the buck later that night when we were driving home from the store. He stood in the middle of road looking right at us, and then just turned and walked off to the side of the road.
Kinda like he was haunting me.
Time for bowhunting was coming to an end. I did end up shooting a nice 4 point that fall.
When the gun season arrived, I wondered if I would ever see either of those deer again because of the large number of gun hunters in the woods. But about an hour before dark on opening day, I saw the 8 point. He was with four does, trailing one of them.
The next day, I got a late start, spooking the buck from under my gun blind. On the third day, I was able to get out early after work. After pouring some doe urine on one of the scrapes close to my blind, I climbed into the blind without making much noise.
I got out my grunt call and hit it a couple of times. Fifteen minutes later, I heard the squishing of leaves. My 8-point friend was coming to check out his scrapes.
I waited for the perfect shot, and dropped him in his tracks on one of his scrapes. I was happy and excited to finally get one of the bucks I’d been chasing. I had the buck mounted.
I hope the 10-pointer is still out there, getting bigger.