Went to Georgia last Thursday for the weekend and got the ok to hunt Fred's (fellow lease member) tower so I could look at something new. Rose a couple of minutes before the alarm went off as I usually do, filled with anticipation. We have a lot of nice deer on our cameras this year but out of five hunters only one cull buck has been taken this year.
It was about 34 with little wind as I walked into the spot. Without using any light I moved quietly listening for any movement and made my way into the tower. I sat this stand two years ago one morning and killed a nice 8 at 220 yards so I was hoping for a repeat, because like that year I haven't shot a buck yet.
First light over the trees brought hope that I would see the 11 pt Uni buck, one of the two Nine's, the two big 8's we had pictures of, or some other mystery shooter buck we didn't know about. Shortly after the son broke the horizon I spotted two mature does standing in the same spot I had shot the buck two years ago and I started to get excited. They seemed on edge and I watched them for about 10 minutes until they disappeared into the tree line. A couple of minutes later a Buck was standing smelling the ground where does were and I looked through scope, heart pounding, I tried to control my breathing and evaluate his rack I could only make out that he was nice and wide and appeared to be a mainframe 8 as I tried to calm myself and wait for him to turn broadside. I grunted a couple times but he never did turn, so I didn't shoot and he headed off to where the two does had disappeared, as my heart sank a bit.
7:45 two yearling does began chasing each other around and playing about halfway up the hill, eventually bolting across the plot, followed by a buck I got him in the scope and squeezed one off and he went down. My exhilaration was short lived as he got up and staggered to the tree line before I could squeeze off another shot. I waited maybe ten minutes and decided to go look for blood, I found none where I shot him and wondered about my shot as he was walking and I didn't stop him. As soon as I entered the tree line towards the bottom I found a big splash and an easy to follow blood trail straight down the hill to the bottom where I found him piled up, at about 100 yards it was a tuff drag alone uphill all the way. I may be prouder of the unassisted drag than i was the deer.
Was he one you had on film, or was that the first you knew of him?
Some of those ravines we have on the lease are steep. It wasn't that steep but wet with lots of slippery leaves, and I'm 63 years old, out of shape, and fat, so i have a hard time hauling myself up the hills, much more so with 160lb buck.