Maryland has a late rifle season that took place this last friday and saturday, 9th and 10th. In this season, one can take either buck or doe. Now i have had a really good season, 4 buck killed including (1) 3.5, 2 (2.5) and one 1.5 year old. One in PA (rifle) and 3 in MD (bow, muzzle and rifle). I fully realize I had a tremendous season and may never have another one like it. While legally i could definately shoot another buck with rifle in MD, i decided just to go along for the hunt. that's the lead in to this late rifle hunt.
I was hunting with my dad, camera in hand. We went to our favorite ground blind on friday evening after work. The night was very slow, but about 15 min. before dark, we saw a very good 8 point with a broken point on the neighboring property. He seemed to be interested in feeding only, paying little attention to 4 does that fed past him as we watched. Excited that a decent buck was on his feet and in the area, we planned on returning the next morning to our ground blind and hope he would alter his travel route slightly, which would bring him onto the farm we have permission to hunt.
Saturday morning rolled around. 20 degrees with a light frost. Perfect deer hunting morning. Unfortunately we busted numerous deer out the field on our approach. If they are out, we have little option besides bumping them and hoping they come back out. Anyhow, as i usually do, ihave a grunt tube on hand for anything we bust out. It seems to calm them, and often times, they come back to investigate.
Anyhow, we got situated in the blind, i got my camera ready to go. About 10 minutes prior to "camera" light, but with more than enough shooting light (well within legal time limits) the buck we saw the night before came out at the corner of the field we were watching over. I could immediately tell it was a mature buck, and one look through the binos confirmed the broken point of the buck the night before. That look also confimed this deer was 2.5 + which is our goal on that farm.
While both of us would have loved to capture the shot on film, it was clear this deer wasn't going to be around long enough for light to arrive. Since we don't get paid to shoot deer on film, we consider it to be only a bonus, we did not hesitate to take the shot despite it not being filmed.
The deer was all but broadside at about 90 yards. I gave a slight mouth grunt, he stopped in his tracks, and one shot from the old 06' and it was all over. Never took another step.
Anyhow, i am very new at attempting to age deer based on teeth, but figured i would try nonetheless. I got one of those print-out sheets with the teeth diagram. I am pretty sure it shows him to be 3.5 years old. I will take a picture soon and post it, maybe someone on here can confirm that for me.
Anyhow, not a bad day for the last one of the season.