Early in September, a bachelor group of 4 bucks files into a soybean food plot in the very murky moments of daylight.
Unbeknownst to them, a hunter is perched 125 or so yards away in a tripod stand at the other end of the plot. Equipped with very sensitive 8x56 European binoculars, the hunter watches as they file into the field and begin to gorge on beans.
He notes with satisfaction that they are all young and healthy looking deer - all are 6-8 pointers and there appears to be no pecking order in this group... they ease into the field and spread out as they begin to feed.
All are out of velvet now but have likely been out only a week or so - the rubs have just now started to show up on the trees in the area.
At some unseen signal, all of the bucks raise their heads and become instantly alert - and all appear poised for flight.
The hunter, immediately alarmed, "feels" for the wind direction... no... the wind is in his face... they do not smell him... and he did not walk through the plot... what is going on?
Two of the bucks immediately flee the plot, right back into the hardwood head they came out of.
The other two hold their ground... a slight mist hovers over the plot as the morning starts to invade a little more fully now...
From the other side of the plot a slightly larger buck strides into the field - walking directly toward the other two bucks. His head is up and feeding does not appear to be on his mind!
The 168 grain bullet. moving at roughly 2700 feet per second, catches him directly in the center of the lungs. He wheels and bounds out of the field on the same path he came in on.
One of the other bucks hightails it - and amazingly enough, the remaining 8 point buck lowers his head and begins to feed again!!!
The hunter watches as the remaining deer winds his way up the plot, feeding as he comes - and the calm and collected buck (or - maybe a foolish buck?) walks within 10 yards of the stand as he leaves the plot!!!
Our hunter watches for a while longer and eventually gets down and moves up to where the buck was shot and picks up the blood trail - and a scant 30 yards into the pines, locates the downed buck.
Later that same year, in mid October, the same hunter is sitting in a tower stand watching a power line that separates that same hardwood head and a stand of mature pines.
No less than 500 yards separate the two stands.
The afternoon passes and darkness begins to fall. The deer come pouring out of the hardwood head, crossing the power line and heading out to feed for the night.
Several small bucks are mingled in as the does file out in small groups of 2-3 deer...
Precious few moments of shooting light remain when a decent buck appears in the power line - but coming from the other direction.
He steps into the open and raises his head - moving it side to side - apparently scent checking the area.
The hunter knows it is 200 + yards, the buck is out past the second power pole and they are roughly 150 yards apart.
Taking careful aim with the stock of the rifle rested on the rail of the tower, the hunter slowly applies the 3 pounds of pressure it requires to snap the imaginary glass rod.
Another 168 grain bullet leaves the muzzle and a fraction of a second later, strikes the deer high on his right shoulder, dropping him like a stone.
Our hunter gathers his belongings, waits a few moments to make sure the buck does not move and then walks down the powerline to inspect the deer.
Neither of these hunts were more spectacular than some of the others he has partaken in. Of course, all hunts are a gift from God and are to be treasured - no doubt about that!
I am sure that most of you are now thinking... OK, Jim, where are you going with this???
After processing both deer and placing their antlers on wall plaques, I was struck by the similarities between the two. I began to inspect the racks - I am convinced that they are brothers or more likely, step-brothers - or are closely related in some manner (I think that true brothers - the same mother and father is not altogether common, given the breeding habits of deer).
The racks are not identical but the way they are formed, the way the G2's and G3's come off of the main beams, the way the brow tines are formed and the length of the main beams are all eerily similar!!
Take a look at these racks and notice the similarities... they are very much the same. We have taken many deer off of this property in South Carolina and they range from wide, to tall, to wide and tall... but none of them seem to resemble each other the way these two do...
Twin sons of different mothers? Perhaps and perhaps not - but it sure looks like it to me!!!