Well 2016 was a tough year for us, it was the first year my son Michael did not get a deer, not that he didn't have a few chances however.
I have always said patience is a blacktail hunters greatest asset and this year it did pay off for me. We hunted all day on Saturday the 12th and never saw a single deer, Sunday rolled around and that morning was no different, nothing. As the afternoon rolled around Mike wanted to walk the old skid roads that run through the area we hunt. It had payed off for him last year when he killed a nice 3 point that was following a doe. I took a seat in an area that we have killed several nice bucks over the last few years and settled in to stay until dark, about a three hr wait. Normally I don't mind sitting in that spot for an extended length of time as we usually see a deer every now and then, as a matter of fact we sat in that same spot a few years ago and saw several bucks in a three hr period, finally killing a 4x5 late in the morning. But this year was different, on Saturday I had spent several hrs there with nothing, not even a doe, that makes staying in one place for 3+ hrs difficult. But on Sunday evening as dusk began to creep through the trees in earnest I saw movement down at the bottom of the hill about 100 yards away. Although it was farther than I like to shoot with a muzzleloader it turned out to just be a bobcat. I was watching him through my binoculars when he looked up the hill in my direction and suddenly bolted into the brush. I put down the glasses thinking that little cat had really good eyesight to see me that far away as I was wearing camo and was back in the brush aways. When I looked back up that 3 point was standing about 30 yards away looking right at me, I think that is what the little bobcat had seen. The 385 grain bullet blew right through both front shoulders and that was that. He turned out to be a bit bigger than I had originally thought when I first saw him. Mike finally got down to me well after dark and we walked down to him together to check him out, as it was he is actually a real nice blacktail. Got him home and hung him on the scales field dressed he was 140 lbs, so he was probably about 180 when he was alive, pretty hefty deer, especially when you are a little over a mile from the pickup, yuck, at least it was a downhill drag!!
I hunted with Mike the next seven days and we saw three more bucks, I rattled in a $%^##%^in MONSTER for Mike a few days later, saw him coming down thru the timber thru the fog and rain at about 40 yards, he stopped and stared me down at less than 20. Huge 4x4 and the mass on this deer was incredible!!!! probably around 18 to 20 wide and just a damn brute. Unfortunately Michael was about 10ft to my left and there was a tree directly between him and the deer and he couldn't see him, oh but I could and he was a huge buck. When Mike stepped over to get a shot the deer took off and was gone. Sucks that he didn't kill that buck but what an experience!!! to see a deer of that size that close. We saw a couple more bucks later in the week but again, just didn't come together for him.
Had a great time as always and at least we managed to get one, cant wait for 2017!!