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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never Give Up



i was a trapper for 15 years. what i really liked about it was that every once in a while you would run up on some wiley critter that would just absolutely humiliate you. just when i got to feeling i was the slickest trapper that ever lived some creature with a walnut sized brain would out think me. it would get to be a daily contest to see if i could outwit the really slick critter. sometimes, they won!

this type of thing requires problem solving skills. it requires looking at things from differant angles and finding real facts to base a future plan on. i learned a great deal from trapping that has helped me in other aspects of my life. it was an absolute treasure trove when i took up deer hunting in earnest.

one fall, i was to meet knottybumpo, deadeye and their relative steve down in the shawnee forest. they were lucky enough to have more time to spend down there and went down earlier.

it was a long 7 hour drive to get there. i arrived about 2:30 pm. instead of going to camp, i drove to one of my hunting spots from years past. i changed clothes standing in the middle of the road. i had all my stuff packed in my wifes brand new pontiac grand am. i got my gear all arranged and headed up into the timber to get an evening hunt in.

the weather was warm, probably close to 60 deg. the woods was also very dry. a person could not make a step without making lots of noise in those dry leaves. i was right at the edge of the mississippi river valley. towards the river was nothing but flat farm fields and flood plain. the other direction was nothing but steep hills and ridge country.

i knew that the deer left the high country to feed in those bottoms in the early evening. i figured to be sitting up on the last hill over the bottoms and intercept them, if my luck was any good.

i climbed the steep hill and got myself up to the top. there was a few places where deer could get to the bottom more easily and it was apparent because of their trails.

i found a tree at the top of the hill where some trails converged at the spot where they started downhill. bottleneck! not being able to avoid it, i had crunched my way loudly to the tree and put up a ladder type stand. these woods were pretty clean and i had good places to shoot to.

i had no more got up the tree with my bow still on the ground when i heard what i knew was a deer coming. he was coming quickly too!
i got my bow up the tree and he instantly came into view. he stopped and stared at the place that i had come over the edge of the hill. this was a little 5 point buck. he eased down the hill and walked right under me.

i had 2 either sex tags in my wallet and about 5 days left to hunt. i decided not to shoot this one. i had not suffered enough as yet. it was too easy. i might find old golden. i had reasons not to shoot it so i didn't. the buck sneaked down to where i came over the hill and stood there staring over the side. then over he went.

i hunted there until dark and then left the stand on the tree. i went to our camp and found everybody there with lots of sad stories to tell. deer hunting stories of the unsuccessful kind!

next morning, i was up on that hill way afore daylight. daylight came and hours went by with not a sound of a deer. hhhhmmmmm.

after a little i got kind of antsy to do some scouting. i had not gotten around to that. so i came down the tree and hiked around a bit. only 100 yards from my stand i found what i thought was a better place to sit. i went back to get the stand with the intention of moving it to the new location.

i had the stand on my back and was almost to the exact spot i was going to set it up when i hear a deer coming. i got to my knees as that was the only thing i could think to do. here comes this 8 pointer buck and it is obviously looking for something. it found it too. me! he left there quicker than he came in. that was disappointing. i would have shot at that one given the chance!

i set the stand in the new location and climbed the tree to wait it out. i heard nothing for hours. finally nature sent an urgent message. i put it off as long as possible but that can't last forever. i looked around for deer. none were in sight. i listened for deer. none were within my capacity to hear them. ok. we'll make this quick! down to the ground i go.

i got over the bank and quite a ways away from where i was hunting to answer the call. i didn't need the bow for this kind of business so i left it in the holder on the stand. mission accomplished i started back to the stand. when i came up over the steep bank, there was a big old buck standing right under my tree stand! i was beside myself! what in the world was the problem! everytime i got down on the groud to do something, the deer showed up! trouble was, i was never ready.

i finally realised that they were comming to investigate the sound of me walking in those dry leaves. it must have sounded like another deer to them and they came right for it.

with this little piece of the puzzle, i tried all kinds of ways trying to use this phenomenon to my advantage. i could never get it to work right. 2 people working as a team may have been able to do it.

after another day of hunting, i was still no closer to getting one of those bucks. finally, one morning i did what i meant to do the first day. i went scouting. over in the next hollow i found some scrape activity. after studying the place over some i found what was going to be the last stand, so to speak. those bucks had been humiliating me for most of 4 days. i was putting all my chances into this last spot.

there were trails leading back from those bottoms to the scrapes and then from the scrapes back deeper into the hills. these trails came across the face of a steep hill. the deer i had seen had mostly came over that hill to catch me goofing off! i set the stand about 30 yards under the edge of the hill. there were trails coming from the scrape that came past me from above and below. one even crossed about 3 feet in front of my ladder.

that evening i got a glimpse of old golden. a nice big bodied buck, but he was down the hill far enough that i could not count points. i watched where he went. once or twice i grunted at him with a grunt call. he just glared in my direction and kept moseying along.

i told knotty about the big buck. we made plans for the next morning. we were going to surround him. oh sure! it was worth a try. besides, i was hoping we might confuse one of those deer and it might mess up.

next morning i put him up a tree that was close to where i last saw the big rascal. i went over and climbed my ladder stand. this was my last morning to hunt. i was whupped. i had not even drawn the bow and had seen 9 bucks! i was seriously doubting my deer hunting expertise.

about 7:30 i heard a deer coming in those dry leaves. i was not going to be the least bit picky about this one. in a few minutes here come what looked to be the same 5 pointer i saw in the first 5 minutes i started hunting on the first day! he was sneaking along the edge of the top of the hill above me. he got to a point right above me and stopped right out in the open.

30 yards! i am just kind of an iffy shot at thirty yards but could not pass up this one. when i loosed the arrow i watched it all the way to the deers kidney area. the deer ran over the hill and i followed its progress for some time by sound. i heard the sound stop abruptly. i knew the shot was lethal.

some waiting was going to be mandatory. i knew almost precisely where the buck was and was not going to risk jumping him.

i figured i would wait a couple hours. knotty and i could gang up on him if the deer was still alive.

i pulled another arrow and knocked it. might as well be ready on the odd chance another deer showed up.

30 minutes later i hear another deer coming. i faced its direction and waited. in a few minutes another buck shows up coming straight at me. in a few seconds i realised it was on the trail that was 3 feet from my ladder. the buck had its nose to the ground and was moving right along.

it never spotted that ladder stand and came right to me. as it passed beneath me i leaned out over the stand and shot straight down. the broadhead cut its spine in two.

knotty and i surrounded the other deer and got it also.

for 4 days i had been completely frustrated by what kept happening to me. on the last morning i took 2 bucks in 30 minutes.

i had figured out the little puzzle. i was still a decent deer hunter and had not lost it altogether.

I FELT A LOT BETTER!
 

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Great Story.. :D
 

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Sure is good to see your stories again Squacks-- missed reading about your adventures--Thank You for sharing them :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
knotty: thanks for posting the picture. i hardly recognize that young feller between the deer. i think i might have been a little thinner back then. maybe not quite as ugly neither!

luck!
 

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Great story, really enjoyed the read. Why did you have some skinny feller hold your deer while you took the pic? LOL

Good Day
 

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Couldnt see the picture. Hope to be able to check out some photos of the shawnee hunt so i know what to expect. a soldier is only as effective as his intel you know.
Huntinbull
 
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