I was not ready opening day, so I didn't go out until Tuesday. An old high school friend called and I was going to show him all of the public waste land here in Winnebago county. At the last second he backed out, something "came up." So I went by myself, checked the wind, decided I'd check out a small woods next to a swamp that I haven't been too in a few years. I haven't been to this place because it's a bit of walking, and I've got a really bad back. I went in light and slow, wind in my face.
I got to the little woods and see the downed tree I remembered, broke off at about 12' off the ground and at about a 45 degree angle to the ground. An easy climb up, solid place to stand, had a place to sit, and a branch to hang my back pack on, perfect. I wasn't in the tree 5 minutes when I herd a grunt. I knocked an arrow, but expected to see another hunter, this is public that get's hammered by hunters every year. I few minutes later I heard another grunt. If the down tree I climbed is at 6 oclock, this grunt came from 12 oclock, directly behind the other half of this tree that's still standing. I peak around the tree and there stands a big fat roman nosed scraggly looking swamp buck walking from my left to right. I'm a lefty, so I drew my bow and waited for him to appear...I eased around the tree and saw 2 bucks, the old fat one and a smaller one 5 yards behind, the voice in my head said take the smaller one, you're a long ways from your truck, and before I could change my mind the smaller one was dead.
Now I haven't taken a deer with a bow in a couple years, since my back injury. Last gun deer season I hunted opening morning and had my tags filled in an hour. I've been to this woods at least a dozen times, never seen a deer, but I did see signs of deer. I didn't get buck fever, I went straight into kill mode, I'm taking the smaller one and the arrow was on it's way, got both lungs and heart, pass threw, text book 24 yard shot, he struggled to get 30 yards and dropped in sight. Then the big one walks past me over to his little buddy, gave his dead buddy a nudge, hung around for about 5 minutes, then walked off. I got a much better look at the old fat one than the one I shot, the old boy had 4 points on one side and only a brow tine left on the right side. I was hoping the other was a doe, but I saw antlers after the shot, all 4.5 points. He's a 2 year old swamp buck, Tipped the scale field dressed at 148 pounds, and I damn near killed myself getting him out, sure glad I didn't wack that fat one. Neither would make Boone and Crocket, but the little one ranks right up there in my Skillet and Crockpot record book! Yummy! Kind of a bummer my buck tag was filled in 1 hour of hunting, but on public land I'll take what I can get. I don't have too many more deer drags left in me, thinking it maybe time to take up rabbit hunting instead. lol not.
American by birth, hunter by choice.