Close But No Cigar, Once Again….

Well, we once again got close for Dad on Wednesday. We had a SE wind and were planning on heading across the river to hunt a new setup that we hung last Saturday. As we approached the edge of the river to cross, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and seven deer were making a beeline straight at us and had every intent of crossing the river.

Dad was scrambling to get a bolt in his crossbow and I was attempting to get the camera on and positioned all in about 30 seconds. A 140-inch 10-point in the group hit the river full speed and I knew this was going to be a close encounter. All I could think was that thank God we had good camo on like Realtree because we were kind of in the open and it was going to be tough to get past the keen eyes of a spooked buck.

Dad just raised his crossbow and I got on the buck just as he came up the high bank. I told Dad to shoot whenever and that I was on him with the camera, and unfortunately he had a tree limb blocking the buck’s vitals. The buck checked us out, but never spooked from us as he continued evading whatever it was that spooked him to begin with. We were both stunned and full of adrenaline after that all transpired! We were disappointed, but still had high hopes for our new setup.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work out either because after we got settled in, we spotted a hunter as were scanning for deer with the Nikon’s, who decided to come in and hunt on the neighbor’s property 60 yds from where we were setup and evidently liked to play with his rattling antlers because he rattled non-stop for a half an hour. I finally looked at Dad and said lets get out of here and go back to the other side of the river. So, we got down and crossed back and climbed into what we call the “west stand.”

It wasn’t long and we had 10 does, 2 small bucks and 15 turkeys within a 70 yd radius of us. We weren’t sure if we’d see a shooter or not, but 15 minutes before legal light ended, we had a beautiful 12 point going somewhere in the mid-150’s coming right toward us. He was going to end up in our laps, but he crossed the trail that the does had left on, and he veered off to head out in the field. I figured we had nothing to lose at this point so I softly grunted to him. He laid his ears back, slowly turned away and slinked through the brush going back the way he came.

Obviously someone has played that trick on him before because he wasn’t taking any chances. We didn’t get a chance to harvest a buck that night, and it was a tough pill to swallow for Dad when you have a shot at two shooters in one night and they both slip away. Oh well, I guess that’s why we all sit in the tree with our Elite’s lightly swinging on a hanger each year, just anticipating the next giant to come ambling down the trail. Hopefully we can connect this weekend, and if we do, there will be a good story to follow I’m sure. Below is a cool picture of the buck I harvested a couple weeks ago. Good luck to everyone this weekend!