Well, I feel cursed this year for sure. At the beginning of the season The farmer I hunt on was building fence for his cattle. Then they decided to drill an irrigation well. Once they got it drilled, they had to get the power company on the property to get power to it. After all this I hadn’t seen any deer. Now I know deer get used to farmers but I think it was just too much. So I finally start to see some deer on my cameras again! Only thing I think holding them off the property is an uncut milo field about quarter mile away. We have a cold front move through tuesday, I could not get out to hunt (work). Take off work early yesterday about noon, out property is about an hour drive. Get their to find they are out their constructing the pivot. Darn, another hunt lost. We were supposed to get some rain showers overnight, so I tell myself if their is rain on the radar at 4:00 am I will get up and drive to hunt. I know they wouldn’t be working today. Spooked a deer on the way in, I have no clue what it was just saw white tail flagging as it ran off. Had some does come in around 8:00. Decided not to shoot just incase the cooler weather has some of the bucks curious and starting to chase. Didn’t see a darn thing the rest of the morning; that is until I get back to my truck to drive and pick up the cameras. I see a very nice 10pt trotting out of the standing Milo. As if it couldn’t get any worse I had a decent 9 point walk by my stand (set up for South winds) at 8:30. I just can’t catch a break this year, but I am very much looking forward to when everybody is out of the fields and the Milo gets cut. I should then start seeing some more movement. Oh, on another note, the farmer usually puts his cattle out middle of November which is just in time for rut. . I have had some success their before, however like I said, this year I just feel cursed. I am trying to not let it get me down too much, being in a stand beats any of the alternatives! Happy Hunting Gentleman!Lol…..I know the feeling. My best late pre-rut and rut stand is on the boarder of two properties. Its a fantastic funnel, and one of the two bucks I have my sights set on is a resident in that area. I have permission on both properties and my stand is about 15 feet from the line. The guy that the stand is actually on decided to cut his timber this year. No big deal, it will make for some great hunting in the future, but it sure put a hamper on this season. I thought it would take them longer to get to that end of the property than it did. I hadn’t been there in a couple weeks waiting on the time to get right, and Friday morning I headed in. When I arrived in the dark, I knew it looked different….a lot different. When it broke daylight I seen they were there! About 30 minutes after daylight I heard the skidder fire up, and had a nice little “deer drive” for a few minutes. No shooters came by, but by 8:00 I had 150HP skidder and two timber cutters about 75 yards away firing up the saws. Figured I’d better get out of dodge before they fell one my direction!!! Anyway, I’ve been after them. Last week I’d been hunting my other property as the other big shooter was showing up on cams REALLY close to shooting light. Thought he may mess up and show up just a little earlier in the evening, he hasn’t so far. But, Friday when I pulled my cam in the funnel where the timber was being cut, I had pics of the shooter in that area. He had shown up 3 times in shooting light! Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, and again Thursday evening. I’m close to both of them, just haven’t gotten in front of one yet. Muzzleloader came in Saturday, but I’m still after them with the ol stick and string, and headed to Illinois on Thursday night. I’ll squeeze in a few more hunts here before then, maybe I’ll pick the right stand in the next day or so.Still no luck here at home, couple small bucks and a couple 2.5 year olds this week, but nothing to make the pumper race. Counting down the hours now, about 26.5 hours before I leave for Illinois. Think I’m looking forward more to the vacation this year then actually hunting. Oh I’ll hunt, and hunt hard, but 10 days in camp, no TV’s, no emails, I will have my phone, but no service is always a good excuse….LOL! Talk to you guys in a week or so!Well guys been out 5 times haven’t seen any deer. Plenty on camera but none in person.
Until today. Decided to head in for a late morning hunt behind my grandparents house after I dropped the kids off inside. Been getting a lot of mid day pics of doe’s and a small 3pt. Me and my buddy that hunt there decided early on that the 3pt was on the hit list. He looked just like a fork horn we had pics of last year. We kept looking and it seemed he was the fork horn just had went down hill. So we decided if we had the chance we would take him.
I was sitting on my food plot at 830. Decided to sit til 1030. Well wind was howling today. Looked at my phone at 1024 and figured well I’m gonna get down. Haven’t seen signs of anything. Normally I would drop my crossbow down by the rope. But I was in my ladder stand and said well I will just sling it and climb down. The trail that the deer travel from the neighbors overgrown pasture is pretty thick. But were the ladder is set up when the deer pop out its game time. There is no way for em to see ya before they are wide open in the plot. Well I stood up to straighten my waist pack. And sling my crossbow and climb down. Saw movement on the trail from the pasture. It was the 3pt pretty much right on time from the pics with the time goin back last week. He never knew I was there. I shoukdered the ol ghost 400 and soon as he stepped out I sent one thru the boiler room. He was the first deer I have shot with it since this is the first season I had it. I knew it was fast but like xbows are. It seems loud to me. So I aimed a little low in anticipation of the string jump. Well at 24yds he didn’t move a lick. I’m shooting victory voodoo bolts and n.a.p foc 3″ expandables. And they have proved to be devistating. He was quartering away slightly in a steady walk. I aimed right at the heart. Squeezed the trigger and I heard the crack of bone before I heard the xbow. Seemed that way anyway. It shattered part of his front right leg and entered the lower chest and exited on the opposite side. Destroyed 3 ribs on both sides and sliced the heart in half and clipped one lung then burried in the ground. After his first hop there was no doubt on the shot. When his front feet hit blood spewed out of both sides. He went maybe 50yds and I saw him fall. Not a monster but I’m more than excited that I took him.
Location: Guess!Congrats John.
Thats 8 more pts then what we had.I had a bummer tonight. I had a 170″ class buck coming to my setup just perfectly, it was going to have about a 20 yard shot. All I needed him to do was step out from behind some limbs. Well some does decided they wanted to come out and he decided to follow them instead. This path took him behind my stand about 13 yards. I thought I had all limbs cleared for this shooting lane, but upon release I hit a limb, causing the arrow to shoot straight down. The end result was the arrow grazed the buck shaving some hair off him. He didn’t know what happened because he ran for a second turned looked and continued walking with the does. As soon as he was out of sight I got down inspected the arrow and ground for sign. As I thought, no blood anywhere to be found, just some fur. I knew where the buck was headed as the creek he was in makes a big horseshoe around a wheat field. I had the wind in my favor so I decided to high tail it to that end. When I came over draw, I spooked some does that were coming from the other direction and I saw him take off running. I was able to observe him for quite a while as he wasn’t spooked to bad as the does never blew at me. I couldn’t see any sign of bleeding or cuts. I can’t believe I never saw the limb my arrow hit. The first thing I do when I get in stand is draw my bow and make sure my lanes are clear. One overlook cost me a great buck. I am going to give the spot a rest until Saturday or Sunday and get back after it. I haven’t felt like this for a while, but I’m glad he will live to see another day. I may not see him for the rest of the year, but if he makes it past rifle season coming up he will be a beast next year.There is some hard core chasing going on right now in our neck of the woods. I would love for some cooler weather. This morning before the 35+ mph winds hit, I had 9 different bucks following 3 does, a couple really hound dogging them. Had this guy come in Saturday, He looks awful young, I just wish I was in the stand to see and judge him better.John, congrats on the buck! Sounds like some of you other guys are right on them also. In my home area and in Illinois the rut is certainly later than normal this year. Just got back from Illinois Saturday night, another great trip! Was blessed with an opportunity at a fine Shawnee National Forest 8pt, and got it done! Nice 4.5 year old, not a good scoring buck as he had some short tines and only an 8pt, but I couldn’t be happier with him. Great frame, and mature! I just got back to work today and am swamped, I’ll post up some pics as soon as I get things under control here! Be safe and happy hunting guys!I left out for the Shawnee with the two other guys I go with on Thursday evening, and after a 9.5 hour drive we rolled into Metropolis Illinois about midnight Central time. We stayed in a motel and was up early Friday morning to head to the campground to set up our little home for the next 10 days. With camp set up and everything in place by about 10:30 am it was time to get down to business.
Friday afternoon, a little time to scout, I picked out a general area, packed my climber, and headed into a familiar area. Quickly I seen there was a bumper crop of red oaks, and they were falling. I headed to the edge of a pine and honey suckle thicket where I knew there were several big red oaks, and set up for the first evenings hunt. I seen a 1.5 year old spike and a nice little 2.5 year old 7pt on the first evening, so things were looking promising. On Saturday morning, I chose a new sit that we had scouted last February about 1.4 miles into a large block of Shawnee that backed up to a large agriculture area. There are also many big red oaks in that area, and is about 400 yards off the crop fields. The action was hot, there was a chase going on around me in the dark as I was getting into my stand, shortly after daylight I spotted a doe and a little one as they moved through, and a 2.5 year old 8pt moved through a little later. Shortly after sun rise, the wind kicked a bit making it difficult at best to hear anything, and at about 9:00am I looked over my right shoulder to see a very large bodied deer moving down the ridge. I got my binos on him and seen…..even on day one for me, he was a no doubt shooter. He was moving away from me at about 40 yards. I grabbed my grunt call and hit him a few times…..he just kept walking, maybe with the wind he didn’t hear me I thought to myself. Now at 70-80 yards, he was going to go over the end of the ridge, and I quickly grabbed my rattling bag, and done a clash/roll. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked, I done another clash/roll, and he broke into a trot in my direction and immediately started circling to the downwind side. To get directly downwind he was going to have to fall off the ridge and into a rough, thick drainage. The same drainage I used as access to the stand. I knew if he did that the gig would be over, but I hoped he would maybe hit the edge of the rough stuff and follow it…..and that he did. Stopping a time or two to survey the situation, he kept coming on a path that would put him directly behind the stand and CLOSE! It all happened in a matter of 25-30 seconds, but it felt like an eternity as I held my breath the entire time. At 8 yards, I drew as he was behind some stuff, he stopped just before the opening, and thankfully he didn’t hesitate long before stepping broadsided into the opening at 6 yards! I stopped him, and took one more quick peek around my peep to survey him to make sure I wanted him, then settled my 25 yard pin at the top of the bottom 1/3 of his vitals…..which almost cost me! My arrow found its mark, but was a little low. He didn’t react to the release, and at 6 yards my impact is a couple inches low when using my 25 yard pin…..in the excitement of the moment, I didn’t remember to use my 40 yard pin for that close of a shot. He bounded out about 50 yards and stopped, as I watched through the binos expecting him to stagger and fall, he began walking, and walked into a very big thicket and out of sight. I thought, ok…..a couple hours and he will be right there in that thicket. As I sat there and surveyed the situation and played everything back in my head for a few minutes, the darnedest chase broke loose in that thicket that I’d ever seen out there. Multiple bucks were on a doe, which in any other situation I would have enjoyed to the fullest….but in this one it worried me BAD. I figured they would jump my buck if he weren’t dead. I really didn’t know either, there were racks going in every direction in that thicket, and all I could see was bits and pieces of deer and antlers going everywhere. When it settled, I eased down and headed the opposite direction to hit the trail I had walked in on. The trail was a good 300 yards from the stand, and in the opposite direction of the thicket the deer was in, however, when I hit the trail I immediately seen blood in the trail. My heart stopped! Confused, I deciphered the situation, and decided to follow the blood in the trail until it left it, then walk on out and wait. Still not knowing if it was my deer or not, it followed the trail for 80 yards or so then turned off into another thicket, and I eased on out. At 3:00pm we headed back in and picked up the trial, followed it to a bed, and then nothing. Clearly, the chase had disturbed the buck and he had left in a hurry. We circled and circled trying to cut a blood trial with zero success, and at that point, the ONLY thing we had left was the blood trail in the walking trail, and still no clue if it was my buck, or maybe an injured buck from a fight, or another hunter. On public ground during the rut, there were a lot of possibilities making the odds of it actually being my deer slim. We picked up the trial, tracked it into the thicket another 100 yards or so and found another bed. We hadn’t jumped it, the blood was dry, but we did decide to go ahead and back out again until morning. The following morning, I picked the trial up myself while the other two guys hunted, the blood was sparse at best, and very difficult to follow….but 200 yards later, I smelled him! I used my nose another 60 yards or so and there he was in a tangled up lap! The entire series of events was full of both fortune and misfortune. Fortunate to have an opportunity at such a fine animal, unfortunate I made less than a perfect shot, unfortunate that the chase broke out and bumped him, and VERY VERY fortunate that I happened across the blood trail in the main trial while trying to sneak out in the opposite direction! Not a great scoring buck, but a great framed 4.5 year old 8pt, with good width, main beams, decent mass, and a great G2 on one side and a great G3 on the other! 8 years in a row I’ve been blessed with a great public land buck with a bow from the Shawnee!
Location: Guess!Nice read and a good buck Q2…Had an amazing morning yesterday. I got settled in my stand about 6:15. We had a heavy frost overnight and with the full moon, everything was glistening in the darkness. I see a buck walk out of the creek, then another. They walked about 30 yards from me and started really going at it. It was very loud in the quietness of the night. Another buck from across the field heard the fight and came running in. Now there were 3 bucks fighting underneath the cover of the full moon. What an experience, this was my first time to witness a fight. They were gone by first light however, so no shot opportunity but I was perfectly content with the morning hunt.Well guys I finally was able to tag out on my first buck with a bow. I had a really nice 10 come 20 minutes before shooting light. Then I had this guy come in at 8:00 this morning. Knowing that they are going to put cattle out tomorrow made the decision to shoot an easy one for me. I couldn’t be happier with my first buck with a bow. He was quartering away at about 30 yards. I was aiming for the second rib back, but shaky hands made me hit it just a tad further back then what I wanted. I still got one lung and clipped part of the heart. He ran about 80 yards bedded down and expired in about 10 minutes. It was the longest 10 minutes sitting from the tree stand just hoping that I would see the antlers topple over. Next on the list is to fill my doe tag. Good luck and good hunting. I will post pictures as soon as I can. (having troubles with forum allowing me to post)
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