Greetings D&DH readers!
I just returned from a bowhunt in IL at Doc Russell’s Heartland Outfitters. The hunting
was slow, but it did provide some clues that the rut is upon us! I would say that
the rut will really be peaking here in the Midwest over the next 10 days.
Our group of 10 hunters did not kill a buck, but we did pass on several nice ones
and had two close encounters with giants. We did, however, manage to put five heavy
does up on the meat pole.
I got my opportunity to add to the tally on Tuesday when I used a new doe bleat call,
which is designed to lure in bucks!, to attract SIX adult does. Well, at least I think
it attracted them. Short story: I was in a hardwood funnel leading to a thick bedding
area when, at just before 9 a.m. On a very warm day, I decided to do some blind calling.
This has seldom worked for me in the past, but desperate times…
The new Hot Mama call a bleat/grunt call from Woods Wise (which will be featured in
a D&DH gear section in early 2008). After making two drawn out doe bleats (“ma-maaaaa”),
I hung up the call and clipped my release back on the bowstring. Within moments, I
heard frantic footfalls in the leaves. I cannot say my calling did this, but I looked
up and spied six adult does and one fawn heading in single file toward my stand. They
all stopped at the base of my tree and mingled around for a bit. That’s when I couldn’t
help myself …and the thought of a pile of extra venison for the ride home. I picked
out the largest of the does and sent a Carbon Express on its way with one of those
new Muzzy MX-3 broadheads. The razor-sharp head produced a VERY short blood trail.
My best encounter from this hunt came on my last sit when my guide, Steve Wilson,
put me on a stand that had not been hunted all year. He saved the stand for an east
wind, and that’s exactly what we got that afternoon. I wasn’t on stand for 15 minutes
when a doe came by, urinated on a trail 15 yards in front of me, then proceeded to
a clover field. Within minutes, a buck appeared! This buck would have been a shooter
back here on my small lease in Wisconsin. I believe he was just a super 2-1/2 year
old, but he was a mainframe 8-pointer with main beams that nearly touched at the tips.
He also had a split (muley-style) G-2 on the one side and one extra kicker on the
other side. His one main beam was also bladed (scooped out) and extra thick. However,
this property is managed for big bucks, so I played by the rules and let him walk.
The coolest part of this sighting was that buck stopped where the doe had urinated
and put on a lip-curling (Flehmening) seminar. What a great encounter!
I had an opportunity to test out some other really interesting new products on this
hunt and will share those in the days to come. Right now I’m trying to complete the
March issue so we can get it in your mailboxes by Christmas. Also, I’m hoping to get
a shot at one of these rutting bucks near our home offices in the next few days!