I had a few hours in the afternoon after seeing my clients for the day, and with the rut going on for a week or so….
This is why we go.
In an attempt to explain to non-hunters why average Joes go…we don’t go to kill, that’s a farce, we don’t go to escape anything, we go to live. And we are keenly aware we are never absolved of the responsibility of the death of an animal; deer, pig, cow or otherwise, simply because we allow a farmer to kill it and then give him money for his efforts.
Make no mistake, if you pay, you kill. So you may as well, obtain your anti-biotic free, steroid free, hormone free, organic meat yourself. Re-connect to nature and the land, you won’t be sorry.
Took the afternoon off and hit the woods. The rut is on in my areas, which are public lands. No wind. No brainer.
I slow stalked in and the deer were moving. After walking in nearly a half mile, I came across a spike and watched him browse an area before moving on. I was pumped. Deer movement in early afternoon is good. Then, a doe busted me after another quarter mile.
This spot is two miles from the road. A very rich area I found years ago. Got on stand just inside a thicket and got set in. After maybe an hour I heard crashing coming thru the woodlot. Then a sight that may change my stance on killing coyotes. Two of them dogging a yearling doe. I didn’t have a shot anyway but I know how that ended. Never shot one. Don’t like killing if I’m not eating. I know it’s natural for coyotes to do that but damn.
So anyway the squirrels went crazy, probably from hearing my heart pounding in my chest. If you’ve never heard the calls and barks of alarmed squirrels in the woods, you are missing out on a very social event. After hearing that commotion coming my way I thought for sure a buck was chasing does, not a coyote.
Talk about blood pumping.
So then I decided to rattle; to try and shut the forest noise down and hope a buck might think he ought to investigate. I knew no self-respecting doe would enter the area after all that commotion. So I started tickling antlers at first.
Ten minutes passed. Nothing, and the sun had set.
So I went ahead and crashed ’em good. Grunting with my call at the same time. The first 3 weeks of the rut is the best time of the year for rattling; really the only time of year. So I raised hell with ’em for a good three or four minutes.
I heard the deer as soon as I put the antlers in my bag. It walked directly behind the tree, probably to within thirty yards easy; exactly how I’d come in; through the edge of the thicket. I couldn’t even see a bit of him. My heart was absolutely wailing again. I wish non hunters could imagine what this is like. He stood there forever and never moved. I thought he was gone and after end of legal light and dark, he blew like crazy when I got down.
I thought he was gone for sure. That’s a mature deer. So after my heart was out of palpitating stage, I finished climbing down 30 feet and exited the woods. Best hunt in five or six years and I never thought of pulling the trigger.