It was one of those perfect brisk November evenings in the deer woods. This day the autumn woods were full of deer activity. The bucks sure seem to be at the peek of their rut. As always I was perched high in my stand and waiting for that dream of a lifetime buck to come along. I was pumped and ready for some action.
But this time something was different. You first have to understand that this large section of woods has not been hunted for over forty plus years. It was just opened for archery hunts only and at the peak of the rut. Are you with me now? Okay, let's go hunting!
It all happened about an hour before sunset. I spotted a group of does heading in my direction. The lead doe must have picked up my scent and they started too circled around me. Shortly after, I could hear what seemed to be a deer chasing through the woods to my left. The only problem was I couldn't see anything in that direction. All the sudden everything got quiet. That's when a huge 8 pointer who looked to be around a 140 class buck stepped out. He was locked on to something. I believe that he spotted the doe group that circled around me. He was still a good 80 yards out and not looking in my direction. I slowly pulled out the grunt tube and tried to work some of my "Magic". But buddy, not this time! He was more interested in something else. At that time I knew there was no competition with a female group at that special time of year. Go figure!
After that encounter, could things get any better? Well, minutes later I started hearing deer chasing to my left again. It couldn't be "Big Boy" he just walked off well to my right. That's when, almost in the same spot the huge 8 point stood minutes earlier. Was another big 8 pointer. He wasn't as big racked, but he was with no doubt a shooter.
Again, I slid out my grunt tube to work some magic. But no reaction! Then I pulled out the rattle bag and gave it a light roll or two. Nothing! Then I thought "last chance" and went for the "Doe in heat" can call. The buck jerked his head around quickly at the sound. He was hooked! Shortly after, a doe appeared from a trail to my left. The doe had several other deer following her as they single filed out of the green briers. There were several bucks following the doe's including a nice 6 point. I think any hunter would have loved to harvest the 6 point. He had a nice perfect big rack. But the buck I wanted was still standing 80 yards out. Then the buck turned and started walking to my left. The green briers were just too thick, so I lost sight of him. I really started getting nerviest now. But I had a feeling that the chase was not over yet. I was hoping that he would be coming for his doe's and pass directly by my stand as the others did.
It didn't take long before I could hear something coming. It sounded like it was busting and cracking through some pretty thick brush. Then finally he appeared. He came out of the same path as the does. He was super nice in my book! I was more then ready to claim my trophy. I made sure everything was perfect. I tried to remember quickly everything I needed to do to make this happen. "Three more steps to my shooting lane, perfectly broadside and you're mine."
Oh, did I tell you that my buddy was hunting on the other side of the hardwoods across from me. And that's were the group of does walked off too. He didn't know about my buck of a life time and that he was three steps from making a 25 year quest come true.
All of a sudden, the does started blowing and snorting as they took off running. The big buck stopped in his tracks "Three steps short of my shooting lane". He started stepping backwards. I knew any second he was going to bust out of there. But to my surprise, he just turned and walked back down the trail. He stood there for a second then started circling back around to my right. I could tell that he desperately wanted to stay with the doe group. I quickly picked out an opening ahead of him at 40 yards and stopped him with the old "Marrp" mouth call. After the arrow left my bow I could see that all of the hard work and practice paid off. All those afternoons practicing at 40-50 yards was going to end here. And yes, this is why we do it. The arrow flight was almost perfect.
When the deer ran off, I heard what sounded like the deer crashing in the brush. I didn't want to take any chances. So I waited a half hour before coming out of my tree stand. I gathered all my things and slipped out of the area for a few hours. Later some friends and I returned to take up the blood trail. And, yes sir, we found my "Buck of a lifetime"! He was about 80 yards from my tree stand. My hunting partners Scott and Jeremy both gave hugs and high fives. They were just as happy to see my dreams come true as if it was their own. And buddy, that's what hunting is all about!