Almost Ski Time!Late season whitetail hunting can be tough. But this year, with the unusually warm weather through most of prime time November, December is off to a good start, and the cold is the reason. November was ok, but the heat did slow hunting….I was wearing a bush jacket and camo tee last week!
I threw away my coffee at 06:15 and began the long trek to the hardwood bottoms. One curious deer, near the tote road, moved off about halfway in. The reason I move at near daylight is not to bump any critters heading to bedding areas…nothing worse than does blowing at you before the hunt is even on….
Time was 07:00…before I got to my climber overlooking the South creek…I put a piece of cloth soaked with Tinks 69 doe in estrus on a shoulder height branch. I proceeded up the tree…about 2/3 of the way I heard a deer coming in…..I climbed the last ten feet to my perch in some branches. Downwind of the Tinks, a buck slowly walked over the wet leaves toward the soaked cloth. The shot looked easy, but his shoulder was behind a tree…I touched off and was a little far back…..the buck took off running east …as he turned I watched him race by and could see the blood plume…..he kept going east and I heard no crash so I knew I had gut shot him.
After the shot I heard other animals running south across the creek…time was around 07:30.
About half an hour later another buck, a six point, began cautiously moving out of the bottoms toward the bait…..I had a clear shoulder so I touched off….through the scope I could see him kick like a mule, rear and run to the bottoms…but I heard him crashing and knew he was down.
At 09:00 I decided to look for the first buck. There was plenty of blood; the watery blood of a stomach wound. I followed the trail east to a game crossing at the creek. I teetered over it on a huge downed tree, and followed the trail as far as I could….it ended at the base of a large wooded plateau. I was well south of my land, so I decided to give up the search. I hate loosing an animal.
When I got back to my stand I went over to the small tree with the Tinks cloth and packed it…I wanted some does. I walked back to the tree and proceeded to climb…..about halfway up I happened to look northeast, and a deer, some 70 yards off, had been watching me climb….before I could blink he was off....as he ran through the pines and scrub you could see brown flashes of his cape from the low southerly sun.
The wind came up around 11:00, so I decided to call it quits and haul the six pointer to the tote road.
The cold has obviously started a second rut, as shown by the love mad critters.
Now that was a good morning!