The surprise Buck.
The day started just like every other day that I have had since the 2006 hunting season began, alarm goes off at 4:30am go make the coffee, then jump in the shower and de scent myself for the days hunt. And while in the shower I have a talk with the man upstairs, actually more like pleading with him to please let this be the day! I go through my array of hunting camo to find that perfect combination, stick my head out the door to see how cold it is, and kiss the wife goodbye. Then I drive the 45 min. it takes to get to my stand.
On this day, I sat in my ground blind, (I have two blinds set up and one tree stand) for about two hours, the rut is just beginning to kick off so I thought I would see something moving early, but nothing. I have had a trail camera set up in this area for about two months, and seeing some decent bucks and lots of does was very encouraging. On the way to my stand I laid down a scent trail, and after about two hours of sitting in the blind, I'd had it! It was time to get out and to, quote Cameron Haines, "make something happen!" As I was sneaking back the way that I had come in, I saw a small buck sniffing the ground, (where I stopped to spray my boots while laying down the scent trail,) he turned and ran off, never seen him again! I was thinking that I would have shot that buck, if given the chance, then I thought everything happens for a reason! I continued hunting up the mountain and heard what sounded like a squirrel climbing a tree, I saw it peeking around the tree at me so I raised my binos up to look, not a squirrel, a bobcat, he jumped from that tree to another, then to the ground and ran off! What a gorgeous animal! Once on top off the mountain, I glassed for any movement for about an hour, then took a different trial down the backside. About halfway down I spooked some deer, and they ran off in the direction of my second blind, so I sill hunted in that direction. This area that I hunt on has some old skid roads from being logged years ago, so I was still hunting my way to the other blind. I had gone about 200yards from the bottom of the mountain, on this old skid road, and something caught my eye to my left, I had just walked by a big tree and turned to see a big buck and a doe standing there looking at me! If that deer could talk he would tell that doe, "that hunter had that HUMAN IN THE HEADLIGHT LOOK". I took a step backwards to block his view of me, but I could still see his rump. I was loading an arrow and judging the yardage at the same time, I judged him at 30 yards, drew the bow, and stepped forward. The 30 yard pin went right to the spot, and I sent the arrow on it's way! It hit with a smack, he and the doe took off towards the creek, and I could see blood pumping out of the hole in his chest! Man I couldn't believe what had just happened! I didn't get a real good look at the buck so I wasn't to shook up. But now he's in the creek or so I thought, and its swollen due to the rain we have had! I follow the blood to the creek, and I don't see him anywhere, but I heard him go down on the other side. I stuck an arrow in the tree to mark the spot, and hiked back to my truck. I then drove to the nearest phone, as I don't have a cell phone, and called for some help. While help is in route, I drive back to the hunting area, and hunt along the tangled mess of fallen trees and brush that line the opposite side of the creek. I spotted where he crossed, then started looking for blood, and I looked right below me and, BULLYAHH!!! There he is at the waters edge, I don't know why I couldn't see him from the other side?
I sat next to him and thanked the man upstairs for letting me harvest such an awesome buck, while rubbing those awesome antlers! Thanks Wayne and Chris, for all your help. The buck officially scored 130, and is my first pope and young blacktail!