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12-13-12: First Big Buck for my wall!

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 11:45 PM by Creole

Itís been way too long since I posted to my blog. My work has been VERY challenging and I've not been able to scout or hunt as I wanted. I was unable to bow hunt during October; unfortunately, I was unable to hunt the Congaree with Ray again this year. David planted our food plot at the stand across the ditch and it remained undisturbed until opening day of rifle season. Needless to say, I was "hungry" for the woods.

Opening day of rifle season, I checked US Prime Time and it looked to be a good afternoon; Iíve found it to be a very reliable predictor of deer movement. I took GG to the range that morning and checked the grouping on her. Satisfied that she was still on, I went home, changed clothes and headed to the stand. On my way to cross the ditch, I found a big, fresh scrape not far from my ladder stand. I crossed the ditch and started toward my box stand. This was my first time in here this year and it had really grown up; even though I know where the stand is, I was easing my way thru the briars and mulberry thickets toward the right-of-way. I found a few more scrapes, all heading toward the right-of-way to my stand and my excitement was growing. I'd take a few steps, looking for scrapes & snakes, before I eased forward. BUSTED-- I jumped a BIG buck! He exploded out of the briars 10 yards in front of me; he had high horns and hauled ***** toward the north. Humm, looks like the food plot will be a really good spot; later that afternoon I nailed a nice doe. Couldnít ask for a better first hunt of the season!

Fast forward 2 weeks. . .I was still on the road, trying to finish up my audits & wasnít able to hunt during the weeks; besides the weather on the weekends was hot, horrible so I let the area alone. I felt VERY confident that Thursday would be a great day to hunt the big buck that busted me a few weeks before. I planned accordingly.

I checked US Prime Time (I love that link) and it showed great potential for Wednesday-Saturday. I wasnít able to get to the woods till Thursday am; despite my best efforts, I was late to the woods, signing in at the lease at 8:30. I noted that Paul, David Ford & Max as well as Charles Ray & Kenny were on the lease. Feeling good that Iíd have help if I needed it, I headed to the stand.

The morning was beautiful about 39 degrees, chilly but not too cold with bright sunshine and a slight breeze. I eased across the ditch and thru the briars. When I had the right-of-way in sight, I pulled a bottle of Black Widow scent from my pocket and began to spray on the briars about every 8 steps; when I hit the right-of-way, I picked the edge and continued to spray as I walked toward the stand. David had hung a scent drip/lure on the edge of the thicket and I dipped it into the scent, continuing to spray all the way to my stand. I placed GG & my backpack in the stand before walking out to the west food plot & dumping rice bran. I climbed up and settled in for an all day huntóthe time was approximately 9:00 am.

As I scanned the right-of-way and the food plots (one on both east and west), I ate my honey bun and drank some of the coffee from my thermos, just enjoying the morning. All was quiet, almost too quiet, but I just kept thinking positive thoughts while I scanned the thickets.

At 10:45 I looked out the window to the east right-of-way food plot and I saw a buck with tall horns right at the edge of the thicket, not 5 steps from Davidís scent wick. Even with my challenged eyes, I could see that his horns were really above his ears. His head was up and he was sniffing the wind; he actually looked toward the stand. Telling myself to breath and be calm (my adrenaline went off the charts), I eased GG up and out the window and found him in the crosshairs. OH MY! BIG HORNS. BIGGEST buck Iíve ever had in my crosshairs. Breathe, Creole, BREATHE! Safety off, but stay calm. He didnít present a good shot to me and I was trying to be patientóI felt certain that he could hear my heart pounding. He must have stood there sniffing the wind for at least a minute (it seemed like forever) when he turned and took a step onto the right-of-way giving me the shot I was hoping for, broadside. Deep breath, squeeze, GG roared. Iím cranking the bolt back to eject the casing & chamber another round, look up and see a buck jump, kick and clear that right-of-way heading to the briars and the ditch. Oh my, I hope I didnít mess this up, miss the shot. I phoned Paul & told him that I just shot a big buckóhe was astonished and told me he heard the shot but didnít know I was on the lease. He told me to wait at 30 minutes before I crawled down to see if there was blood. I phoned David who was immediately pumped! That was the longest 30 minutes of my life. I crawled down with my rifle and headed to where I saw him. Blood on the right-of-way. I was so relieved. I called Paul and he told me to hang on, heíd get the guys and weíd find him.

While waiting for them, I eased into the flat where I saw the deer run trying to see if I could find blood. Nothing. Now I was concerned. . .I KNOW I saw that deer jump the right-of-way and head for the ditch; I know where he went into the flat. What the heck? Did I just wound that buck? I beat myself up for the 30 minutes or so before David Ford, Max, Paul & Bubba arrived. I showed them the blood and they began the search. NOTHING. I didnít want to squall in front of those guys, but I really was feeling very disheartened. Bubba and Max walked over to where the blood was on the right-of way, and Bubba shouted that they had blood going the other way. WTH? The other way? I only saw 1 deer and I KNOW I saw that deer jump the right-of-way! They kept moving and the blood trail got heavier. There he was! Oh my, I did it! How did he end up here? It was another good shot and they were amazed that he didn't drop. I am still trying to figure out what happened!

All of them were very impressed with the buck and the teasing immediately began about what blood looks like; in one of the photos, Bubba is holding a leaf with blood! That photo will be on the board and its just part of what made this such a remarkable hunt.

Paul & the guys took him to the camp and I packed up, walked back across the ditch. When I arrived back at the camp, everyone had come out the woods and we all celebrated. Max told me that heíd wear a pink camo Duck Commander cap if he could kill something like that buck. Paul, Charles Ray and Kenny urged me to have him mounted and then David called and said the same thing. Decision made, we skinned him accordingly & I headed to the taxidermist and the processor.

As for the deer that I saw jump the right-of-way, the only thing I can imagine is that there was a 2nd buck behind the one I shot and I didnít see him, nor did I see the buck that I did shoot double back and go the way he came. David Ford says strange things happen in those woods, and he is so right.

Several firsts for me on this particular huntóbig horns and a longer range shot (I usually shoot 100 yards or less). I feel that Iíve been challenged as far as determining what would make minimum, but David always told me that Iíd have no trouble, that when he stepped out, Iíd know. David is right. I also have current braggin rights--to date, he is the largest buck killed on the lease this year. Not sure how long that will hold up but it's fun while it lasts!

If I donít kill another this season, I feel blessed with 2 deer already and friends,fellow club members and hunters who are so giving and willing to come help.

Itís not over. . . .thereís another big buck up in there and Iím giving it a few days to quiet down before I ease back up in there. Iíll be hunting for those big horns too! With a bit of luck, I can give him a ground check before David Jones comes home. . . . .

Remember, itís not the kill, ITíS THE HUNT!
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  1. Old Comment
    Nice Buck!
    Posted December 19th, 2012 at 03:10 PM by kelsey b kelsey b is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Black Spurs's Avatar
    He is a nice one. A lot of people have killed some pretty good deer this year. Congratulations.
    Posted December 20th, 2012 at 07:28 AM by Black Spurs Black Spurs is offline
 

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