I just completed two weekends of deer hunting and the bucks were going crazy over on our place in West Alabama! The rut was wide open the weekend of the 29th and was showing no signs of a slow down this past weekend. Active scrapes were easy to find all over the property and bucks chasing does was the normal pattern. Although I did see a few more bucks slowing down this past weekend, they still perked up when I witnessed them see a doe and the chase then ensued.
On this past Friday, I hunted a portion of the property I had not been on this year and I was not disappointed at all! I have been chasing a big palmate antlered 8 pointer for many of the days I hunted, other than days when I have taken other folks hunting or been on a different property. There is just not enough time to hunt unfortunately! Between work, holidays, family obligations and the always dreaded “yard work” I just can’t devote enough time to it! Well, maybe in a few more years If I get to retire, and am able, I will be able to hunt like I want to do.. But, that’s not likely.
The property line to the south was where I had found a lot of deer signs such as a well worn trail, with lots of active scrapes and many active rub lines on some bigger saplings. The first hunt was an afternoon one along the property fence and with a very favorable wind, I sat on the ground in a quick made ground blind using dead limbs and tossing leaves on top of them to make a nice concealment. It worked better than I had hoped for! Soon after settling in, I had a steady stream of deer passing by upwind and felt it was just a matter of time before the “big buck” showed up. I was not too happy though when he showed up across the fence on the other property down wind and coming to the “Tinks” scent bomb I had placed upwind of my hiding spot. I kept hoping he would come on over to our side but the fence deterred him enough to where he finally got nervous and left. I had a great time however watching several nice young bucks and some big groups of does with yearlings. At dark, I slipped out and walked the fence back to the road with plans to return the next morning.
Saturday morning was cold, windy, and I got “spit on” by several short rain showers. None was enough to even soak my jacket but, the deer activity was spotty until about mid-morning. I saw a spike and a young 6 pointer plus a number of does but, the most enjoyable part of the hunt was had on the way back to my truck. We have a large field that has standing corn in the middle, about 10 acres of it, with a green field running down all sides of it. There was two huge fox squirrels working the corn stalks and climbing them to ride them over and get the ears of corn broken or chewed off. They would grab the ears in their mouths and then run as fast as they could across the road and into the woods where they were placing them inside a large log that was rotten and had a large cavity where they would disappear with the corn! They would come back out and run across the road back out in the corn and literally “glide” when they were not having to carry the ear of corn. They are absolutely beautiful creatures! I have heard the term “squirreling away” things and I got to see it first-hand!
Saturday afternoon, I got the extreme pleasure of the company of my granddaughter, Anna Faye, who was taking her first hunt of the season with me. Last year, she went with me on one hunt, shot the gun one time, at a nice 7 point buck, and dropped him at about 225 yards. I often thought it might have just been a case of “beginner’s luck” so I was very interested in see what would happen on the second try. Well, after two and a half hours in the shooting house with me snoozing while she kept watch and hunted “hard” she got the chance. A doe came out trailed by a nice 8 point buck who was large in body size but small in rack, so he was a perfect cull buck for her to take. I gave her a little coaching to get her positioned and holding the rifle properly then I let go, just like last year, so she could independently take the shot, and she did! She dropped the buck in his tracks at 248 yards! I have since nicknamed her Anna “Oakley” Faye! She has proven her prowess in making those long shots!
On Sunday morning, (yes I did some back sliding) I was back in my ground blind before daylight. I brought my rattling antlers with me and while it was still dusky, I rattled them and made some loud grunts with my caller in hopes of bringing in another buck for a “fight”. As I was laying them aside, I saw a large deer coming toward me at a trot. I was disappointed that he had a poor set of head gear though but, he was clearly an old buck so I dropped him when he was almost in my lap! He fell about 10 feet from me and with a twinge of regret about losing the morning of hunting enjoyment, I headed to the cabin to get the four wheeler.
It was an exciting, entertaining, very special hunt, good memory making type weekend in the “deer woods”. They are getting fewer and fewer and I need to take advantage of them all I can. And you know what? SO DO YOU!
Go hunting! Deer season is almost gone!