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Rut Time is the Right Time

TroutmanBy Tab R. Troutman

-- It was the last week of the 2006 Pennsylvania archery season, and I had hunted three days without much success. I always schedule vacation at this time to try and hit the rut. However, I hadn't seen anything, much less gotten any shot opportunities.

Thursday morning, I sat low on the mountain in an old clear-cut hoping to pinpoint deer crossing the area. I didn't see anything early in the day, so I moved up on top of the mountain to a thick area where the trails are very limited as to where the deer cross.

I wasn't there long before a young 5-point buck trotted by with his tongue hanging out. A big doe passed a minute later. I thought no wonder I'm not seeing much, the deer don't know who should be chasing whom.

Maybe an hour after the first two deer passed, I heard a stick break and immediately got ready. A large doe trotted by with a big buck on her trail. I had to lay the book down, hook my release on the string and get turned into position. I drew back and had to stand up to shoot over branches, as the deer passed my shooting lanes. I grunted at the buck once, twice, and three times with my voice trying to stop it.

Each successive grunt was louder until I practically yelled at the deer on my third attempt. The buck finally heard me and stopped broadside at 20 yards. I hit the release and connected with a double-lung hit. The buck spun and jumped down the other side of the mountain. However, it didn't go very far, maybe 40 yards, but it was very steep.
The buck was a terrific trophy. It was a mature 10-pointer with a 20-inch inside spread and rough score of 140.

Tab R. Troutman 
Valley View, Pennsylvania

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