Today was the last day of firearms season, so I decided to hunt the last half of the day, this morning was too cold and I was too sleepy.
So I parked near one of my spots, by near I mean about a mile from it, and stalked in. I'd been seeing sign all over this area, and I saw 4 deer here on Thanksgiving day.
So I was easing along and got to within about 200 yards or so of my limit, which is the furthermost point I'm willing to travel on this particular hunting area. I was easing along a trail very slowly and very quietly when I heard something that I couldn't quite make out at first. As I got closer and came over the crest of the ridge I began to get excited, because I could tell it was the sound of large antlers clashing together. I had the sun over my right shoulder, and the deer were to my left at about 45 degrees, which was the temperature to by the way, much warmer than it's been the past few days. At first I couldn't see the bucks, but I could hear their antlers rattling, and I could hear their hoofs prancing about as they struggled. The bucks were now about 100 yards away, and out of sight. The wind, unfortunately was to my back, and before I could get into position where I could see them, and maybe get a shot with my pistol, they must have winded me, because the rattling stopped, then I saw one of them moving slowly up the side of a small ridge, he looked to be about an 8 pointer, and by now I was within about 75 yards. The buck that I could see then turned around and walked back to where he came from, I waited to see if they would go back to sparring, but they never did.
After a little waiting, and some figuring out what my best strategy would be I decide to drop my pack and slip around to try and get a good look at the bucks, and then decide which one I wanted to shoot. So I duck walked about 25 yards, then peeked over a berm to see where the bucks where and which was the biggest, but they'd already made tracks. So no shot at those two, but it was rewarding being able to get close enough to 2 large bucks while they were locking horns. These guys were in a great spot for it to. They were in a sort of depression with high ground on 3 sides, and a long deep gully on the bottom side, which made it difficult to hear them unless you were very close, and impossible to see unless you were even closer. The ironic thing is, I was standing right above this very spot 2 days ago, thinking "This looks like a good place to set up and wait for a buck". Recon I was right.