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Spot & Stalk Success

By Jeff Courter

Jeff CourterI have taken some nice bucks over the years, but never spot-and-stalk style until Dec. 16, 2007, the last day of shotgun season in Ohio.

I’d planned to hunt from a tree stand that afternoon, but minutes after climbing into the stand, I saw a good buck moving through the woods, well out of range.

It was a windy, snowy evening, so it was hard to judge antler size. I sat in the stand for another hour and watched some small bucks and does heading to the same area I’d last seen the first deer.

With about an hour of hunting time left, I decided to attempt a stalk. After walking about 300 yards for a downwind approach, I began following their tracks in the snow.

Fifty yards farther, I spotted some deer bedded on a ridge. Keeping trees and brush between them and me, I slowly closed the distance.

The big buck was bedded there as well. I decided to wait for him to stand.

It was 4:45 p.m., with only about 20 minutes of daylight remaining. Does started moving off the ridge. One doe in particular was trying to blow the whistle on me, but the only shot I had was at the buck’s neck. I decided to take my chances and wait some more.

The doe came right at me and, at about 10 yards, saw me and snorted. The buck jumped up, and I was able to make a good shot at about 65 yards. He ran 30 yards and dropped.

The 3 1/2-year-old 11 point is no giant, but it was positively the best hunt I’ve ever experienced.

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