November 12, 2009 - Morning Hunt - ONE MORE STEP!!!
I got back in the tree again today before work at the same place as yesterday. It was pretty much non-stop action today and the "punch line" has been eating me up all day. Feels more like a punch in the gut.
So, I got into my climber and shimmied up the tree about 40 minutes before shooting light. Shortly after I got up to where I wanted in the tree I heard heavy foot steps approach my stand in the dark. I couldn't see it, but I know it was a buck, sounded like a nice one too. I hadn't even pulled my bow up yet, so I just sat quietly, still in my climber stirrups, until the deer walked off. Once he did I quickly pulled my bow up and got settled in.
I didn't see anything for the first 45 minutes or so and then I saw two does come out. I believe the same two I saw yesterday, which I perceive to be a mama and her fawn. They lingered around my stand for about 15 minutes and came close to busting me. But then they sauntered off to the West down the main trail.
Not too long later I saw a lone doe emerging from the bedding area and I just knew a buck would be following. And there he was, the same beast that toyed with my emotions yesterday was back and still trailing that doe! I could tell she was with was in estrous because she was holding her tail straight out and wanting some action.
I hit the grunt a few times and the buck eventually came to investigate. He first walked into the thick stuff downwind and stopped, I suppose to try to wind whatever was making the grunts. I hit it again and he came closer in the really thick stuff. I bet he was within 10 yards and I couldn't see him still through all the honeysuckle. But he sounded like he was directly below me. Then I heard him start to move out into the open. He started to walk into my shooting lane and I drew on him successfully. He was standing broadside at 15 yards, dead center of my bowsite and peep and I just needed him to take ONE more step because his vitals were obscured by a small limb that might have caused a deflection. After standing there, just into my lane for 10 or 15 seconds he got spooky, even though he was upwind. And somehow he did a 180 degree turn and vanished before I took the shot.
In retrospect I was and am kicking myself for not letting the arrow fly. Odds are it would have missed the branch and I'd have a nice Pope & Young deer in the cooler. Gaaaaaaaaa! That was (still is) a rough one. He's a beautiful animal and one of the finest bucks I've seen while hunting.
I'm taking the day off tomorrow to go after him again. If you've got any positive mojo or prayers to send my way for tomorrow please do. I'll take whatever help I can get and if I'm going to close the deal on this guy I'm sensing I'll need some help from above.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow is another day! (and it just happens to be during the rut!!! ;-)
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