My 2010 blacktail
Posted 28 August 2011 - 11:58 AM
On Sunday morning, October 31 2010 I rolled out of bed at seven A.M. I had decided to stay home with my family that morning because I had been spending a lot of time in the woods. It was a normal morning, I headed for the living room, and my wife handed me a cup of coffee. As I do every morning I opened up back door to have a look outside and the wonderful smell of fresh rain hit my nose. It was not pouring but a light steady rain was falling and I could tell that it had been going on all night. For any avid blacktail hunter this scenario will awaken something primal within. I looked back at my wife, she smiled at me and said it’s totally cool baby, you should go hunting! I didn’t waste a second; I ran to the bedroom, grabbed my gun and my pack and raced out the door.
As I fired up my Mazda pickup I could not help but feel very excited and optimistic, it was the last weekend of season and only the second time I was able to get to hunt alone and in my honey hole. It was about a 25 minute drive from my house to my spot including a quick stop for a rockstar and a power bar. When I rolled up to my spot and parked I was a little concerned that I didn’t make it there until about an hour after first light, but reminded myself that I had never killed a buck at first light despite the stigma attached to it.
For some reason that morning I just grabbed my rifle, primos grunt tube and rattling antlers, and left my backpack in the truck. I walked across the road and checked the wind, perfect. I headed up the same deer trail I had 100 times before, slowly, two steps, glass, two more steps, and glass. About two hundred yards up the draw I found a spot that was torn up, leaves scattered everywhere, soil overturned, and my spirits rose…. The rut was ON! I was sure that bucks had been fighting in this very spot, and not too long ago as the over turned soil was still dry. I kept on my path up the draw, all senses on alert, every sound and movement catching my attention. Another two hundred yards up the draw I sat down at the base of a big pine tree; there was a small bench uphill to my right that I had gotten over three thousand trail camera pictures on over the summer. Uphill to my left there was a large flat bench that I had seen and jumped bucks off of numerous times before, there were three fresh rubs within sight of my position.
I sat at the base of the tree for a few minutes in total silence, letting the woods “settle down”. I tried to do a little glassing into the timber surrounding me but the lenses on my binoculars were covered in water and useless, guess I should have left the covers on them. After ten or so minutes I pulled my grunt call out of my pocket and gave three soft grunts, ten minutes later three more grunts, louder and more aggressive this time. After the second round of grunts I was scanning from right to left, when my head was turned all the way to the left I saw a big bodied deer just as it stepped behind a big group of trees. I did not see the deer’s head but it was a BIG deer and it had come off of the “buck bench”. I turned to my left and propped my Savage 30-06 up on my knees; the seconds seemed like hours waiting for the deer to make its way out from behind the group of trees. The first thing I saw was the nose, grey, stretched way out in front and low to the ground…..come on, one more step. Another step and I could see the whole front half of the deer’s body, the first thing I noticed was his tall dark colored rack. He had no idea where I was, he was moving very slowly, his neck was stretched out and I could see his nostrils flaring in and out; attempting to catch the scent of the rival buck he had heard from his bed. I swung my crosshairs from his head down to his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. At the shot he did a complete back flip out of sight behind the group of trees he had come out from. I was calm, cool and collected until after the shot, then I fell apart and started shaking like a leaf, it happens every time.
I sat there for a few minutes watching the area he had went into to make sure he didn’t run off and to try and control the shaking in my legs enough to stand up. Once I decided he was most likely down for good I gather all of my gear and headed up the hill to look for him. It didn’t take long to find him and to say I was ecstatic is an understatement. The first thing I wanted to do was to call my wife Naomi and tell her the news because she shares my passion for blacktail deer and hunting; I knew that she would be as excited as I was. Unfortunately I had left my phone in the truck because of the rain, I also left my camera behind so I had to decide whether to hike all the way down and get it or try and drag him out whole for good pictures. I’ll just say I made the wrong decision and drug him out whole; that was an adventure all in itself. After about an hour I had him about fifty yards from the road and decided to leave him there and go get my camera and take a much needed break, after the intense adrenaline rush, and the physical exertion I was having trouble keeping my breakfast down.
When I reached my truck I couldn’t get the door unlocked fast enough, I called my wife Naomi, and she was as excited as I knew she would be; fueling my already raging excitement. She told me to hurry up and text her some pictures and said she would meet me at my parents house. I made my way back up to my buck, did my best to take some decent pictures, field dressed him, and got him the rest of the way to the truck. When I got him to the truck I ran into a problem, he was a big deer and I was exhausted, no matter how hard I tried I could not get him into the back of the truck. Lucky for me I was blessed again and a good friend of mine called to see how my hunt was going and he happened to be in the same area so he rushed down to help me load my buck.
When we were all done I headed to my parents house to skin my buck. When I pulled into the driveway I could see that my wife and kids were already there, they were all excited to see me and my buck (did I mention that I love my family?). My dad came out to inspect my buck, he told me that it was a nice buck and that he was really proud of me, which was the very best part of my 2010 blacktail season.
Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:53 PM
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