The woods are dead quiet today, and seem even more so after the wild and windy day that yesterday was. It is clear and cool, with a slight breeze from the SW. I am in the same stand as I hunted yesterday. Here is what happened.
7:05: A nice buck chased two does around in the woods about 150 yards to the south. Lots of grunting and chasing sounds. Soon they disappeared but about 10 minutes later one of the does ran past me. I got ready and soon the buck appeared. He came to about 50 yards and stopped behind an oak, waited and watched for a bit, then turned to chase the other doe. After a while I could hear him raking a tree with his horns. I never got a good look at him, but he was certainly a good mature buck.
8:30: A very wide, dark racked 8 point buck just walked on a trail about 50 yards below my stand. I tried to call him, he looked, turned and came towards me for a bit, then turned and left.
8:59: Two bucks chased a hot doe below me (east) and to the side. One buck was a nice mature deer, possibly the one that came close earlier. The other one was a much bigger buck. He was heavy with lots of points, probably some were non-typical. He was limping badly but chased the smaller one away, then stopped directly downwind right where the wide 8 walked. Then he winded me and blew…lots of times. Soon the doe ran and he followed. By far the best deer I’ve seen yet.
9:16: A doe came sneaking by from the same place that the great 10 point was yesterday, in the brush downwind of me. She was followed by a nice 2YO 8 or 9 point. I reached for the camera but stopped when I saw what was following. A very heavy bodied older buck with a very nice rack. I took the shot at about 20 yards and hit a branch on the way in. The arrow deflected back a bit but still good. He ran about 30 yards and dropped, but did not die right away. I can see him but I will wait awhile anyway.
9:20: A 10 point buck just tracked by on the path of the doe. Very thin horns. A 2YO? A yearling?
All morning: Lots of turkeys.
9:50: A 2YO 8 point walked past the deer I shot, smelled the air a bit and then walked directly under my tree.
10:18: A weird buck just passed by. On his left was a long very thin beam that forked on the end. On his right was a long, curved spike.
10:42: Just walked up to the buck I shot. A great buck, a perfect 10, old and heavy. He is a bull-necked, beat up mature buck, full of puncture marks and patches of hair missing from fighting. The shot was a bit far back, but all in the chest. He traveled about 25 yards and probably died in minutes. George and I took lots of photos, I’ll post them later. This is a great old buck, the biggest body I’ve seen on this trip. And although not the biggest rack, I’ve seen two that were bigger, certainly not a deer to pass, and I am thrilled to have taken him.
I will follow this with an epilogue and a summary tomorrow.