Here are a string of videos I shot on Saturday morning Oct. 29, 2011. The first video is of a small buck that comes in after I did a bit of cold calling. I rattled, grunted and used the estrous bleat. I also had 3 scent wicks at ground level and two in the tree with me, 15 feet up. I’m using special golden estrous. I’ve never used it before. At various points in these videos, all the deer are down wind of me but the bucks seem to be interested in the sensory stimulation I am producing. The first buck is dripping wet with sweat. His back and neck are all wet. The temp that morning was 26F with a heavy frost. He comes in curious enough, looking for the source of the rattle grunt bleat.
(note** turn up your sound as some of the videos have some interesting sounds. Also, the image quality defaults to 320P but can be improved by selecting 720P at the lower right part of the viewing pane)
In this next short video you will see the buck take on an attitude. He lays his ears back and then tackles a small tree as if to show is dominance. I thought he was putting on a show for me. What I did not know is that my cold calling attracted another buck from the other direction. While the first buck is small, the 2nd buck is smaller so the first buck flexes his muscles.
The two small bucks approach each other and circle one another. The first buck on the scene is clearly the dominant buck (even though he is small and young) and lets the other buck know it by running him off.
Because my view of the bucks was blocked and because of the sun glare I turned off the camera, my mistake because the two buck start fighting. As quick as I could restart the camera and get it focused, the fight was over and the loser was run off injured. One of the two deer can be heard snorting. You can see him limping on his rear right leg. At times, he does not put any weight on it. The fight only lasted about 10 seconds. The winner of the battle escorts the loser out of the area. I lose sight of the loser but I hear a deer splash across the river so I assume it is him departing the area.
Instead, I was hearing a 3rd buck approach. This buck is the smallest of them all (I didn’t think they made em much smaller than the first two) This little buck must have had his antlers damaged in velvet. They seem smashed and leaning to the side. This buck approaches the exact spot the doe I took two weeks ago died. Its rained several times and there is no blood anywhere but the scent is still there and you can see his caution.
As I continue to film I hear another deer cross the river but I can’t see the river so I have no idea of it’s a deer coming towards me or one that’s leaving the area. It turns out to be a small doe that made the mistake of coming into an area with three bucks. The little smashed antler buck sees one of the other bucks begin to chase her so he gets out of the way.
The winner of the fight chases the doe directly under my ladder stand between the tree and the ladder. In her haste to get out of the area, he slams into my ladder with her hip knocking it hard enough that I stopped filming and held on thinking the stand was going to come down. Then the small buck approaches my stand. The doe had done a sharp right after she passed under my stand so the buck does a bee line to her. He gives me a brief look but is not alerted by my presence.
He runs her off again and then follows her out of the area. This event took place between 8:30 am and 9:00 am.
At 9:45, I again do a little cold calling. At 10:00, the same doe and small buck return and circle me a few times. The buck keeps his distance but never lets the doe out of his sight.
He gets here to walk under my tree. She stops to urinate.
After about 15 minutes of keeping his distance, he gets too close and runs her off again.
They were the last deer seen that morning.
Saturday night, I hunt a different stand deeper in the swamp and even closer to the river. I forget the camera back at the farm which was a real shame because I could have got some great footage of a 9 point 2 ½ year old swim across the river after being coaxed across by some rattling, grunting and bleating. He first approached the river which is too deep and muddy to wade across and then retreats only to pick a fight with a small pine tree. I increase my calling and he returns to the river bank. This time he goes all in and does a spectacular belly flop and swims across. Once on shore, he shakes himself dry like a great big dog and walks right under my stand at less than 10 yards. 10 minutes later, a spike shows up to see what all the commotion is about. I really wish the camera were with me.
Sunday Morning Oct. 30, 2011
It still cold and very overcast. Again I have multiple scent wicks saturated in estrous scent on the ground and in the tree with me. I do a little rattle, grunt bleat at 7:30 am and at 7:45 this fork horn shoes up. Every buck I see this morning approached from down wind. I don’t get busted but I think they could smell me but I think the scents and sounds I was producing kept them focused on finding that hot doe. You can see him sampling the air over and over as he approaches the oragne scent canister.
In this video the fork walks over to an old apple tree with a scrape and overhanging branch. He works the branch pretty good.
He then walks over to a small pine and rubs it up a bit.
What I did not notice is that my calling seemed to have attracted another buck from the Northwest. The fork heads over to intercept the smaller buck. They circle each other to size up who is the dominant buck (this time it’s the fork).It turns out the smaller buck was the winner from yesterday’s match. This time, he is second fiddle. Notice the pinned back ears on the fork as he follows the smaller buck.
You will want your sound turned up for this one to hear the “dominant” buck fighting with brush to show the smaller buck he is “the man” He breaks up a small stick and then goes a little bigger with a fallen tree top. This exchange takes place for about a 20 minutes before they wonder off.
At 8:20 I do a little more rattle grunt bleat. At 8:35, this 6 point shows up (again from down wind) He does a sight check and then heads over to the apple tree scrape visited earlier by the fork. This buck does it up right. He works the over hanging branch, rakes the leaves, puts his rear hocks together and urinates on them. The buck looks at me several times which made me think he busted me by sight or smell. It turns out he was looking at another buck behind me. He wastes no time heading over to great the intruder.
Notice the pinned back ears and the bristled up hair. The smaller buck (again the fight winner from day one) knows when its time to go.
At 9:30, the first buck from Saturday (the winner of the first fight) comes back and passes through.
I saw several lone does or does and fawns until I called it a morning at 11:00 am. I think its still a bit early in this area and the big ones are still laying low and moving after dark. The rut is about a week off and perhaps then the mature bucks will be on their feet during daylight. I will be waiting for them.