If Sam and I were ever going to shoot a deer together at his age, I knew we would need a pretty dumb deer to walk by. Maybe one like a yearling buck experiencing a surge of testosterone that clouded his ability to sense danger from the dynamic father and son duo perched above him. On the evening of November 7th, we had a meeting with just such a buck.
As much as I’d dreamed of joining the coveted 200 pound buck club, I’m not sure I can say with confidence that I thought I’d ever be fortunate enough to become a member. I have intentionally hunted areas in Vermont and New Hampshire that have the potential to produce that caliber of a buck but hadn’t had any luck to date. This can be blamed on many factors, with myself being the biggest one of all. That all changed on opening day of the 2017 Vermont rifle season.
Have you ever shot a deer and wondered where it came from or what it was doing before it showed up at your stand? I know I have. Maybe it’s the never ending drive to understand these creatures and what makes them tick. The way I see it, the more I can learn about the game I’m after, the better my odds of success on future hunts. In the case of my dad’s Vermont Rifle buck, I had the unique experience of knowing exactly what his deer was up to during the last hour and a half of his existence. Why? Because I was following him, that’s why!
Someday, I am going to devote an entire article on the most important ingredient required for a successful hunt. The ingredient? Time.
I can’t remember a year when I have hunted over such an active scrape line, complete with fresh rubs and extending over 650 yards. It felt like I was finding fresh sign each time I hunted it. As near as I can tell, the scrape line leads to his bedding area and he checks them during the night. This works out well for him but not for me. Big bucks can be very frustrating.
“For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game!”
How many strikes do you get when deer hunting before you are out? Is it three just like in baseball? I hope so because that means I’m still in the game.
The story goes like this. I had only been in position for about twenty minutes when a deer decided to run through the ravine below me. It was a fine doe, all alone and a looking tasty. I’m not sure what made her run by me, but she stopped fifty yards away with her butt end facing me. Those in Texas refer to this shot as the “Texas heart shot.” Or is it us hunters in the north that refer to it that way? I don’t know, either. I’ve always been told that’s what it’s called. I wonder if hunters in Texas know this?