My favorite buck's 20th anniversery

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Dish7, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Dish7


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    Do you have a favorite buck on your wall or in your memory? Not the favorite just because he is the biggest but for other reasons. I do.

    The 2018 hunting season will mark the 20 year anniversary of my favorite. Shot him, with a shotgun, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 1998. He is on my wall but not the biggest. Not even close really. As far as scoring would go, I don't know. Never scored him but I would guess that he would struggle to make 120". He has good mass but is short in tine and beam length and is an eight point. Not a formula for a high score. I had almost no history with this buck. Except for the day that I got him I only saw him one time, preseason. He was at least 3.5 years old but most likely 4.5. I did not have a big awareness of age back then. So why is he my favorite? Because he changed my whole mindset of deer hunting and how I wanted to go about it. I will apologize now for this being a long post.

    In 1998 I hunted an 80 acre farm on the edge of town that was owned by a good friend of my father. It was about 15 acres woods and the rest fields and fence rows. My dad and I shared permission with another hunter a few years older then me and his dad, and couple of the owners neighbors. The owner did not hunt and was one the nicest men I've ever known. He did not say no to many. Throw in all the trespassers and treestand thieves and it could be a real headache at times. In spite of this it was still a good place to hunt and it was what we had so...

    At this time, I had just started passing young bucks although not always. It was sometimes tough to see any bucks with the pressure on that property and the buck to doe ratio being way out of wack. The other hunter that had permission had lost his dad that year. To fill the void he invited some coworkers to hunt with him. Understandable. Three of them, ouch. All nice enough but now we had replaced an occasional hunter with three who were literately there everyday that I know of from October 1st until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. They all worked nights and hunted during the day. Hunting was tough and maintaining any level of confidence was even harder that season.

    Two days before Thanksgiving we got a couple of inches of snow overnight. On my way back to my stand in the dark that morning I found it odd that were no tire tracks or hunter footprints. I thought "No way the gang is not here." I sat all morning without a single deer sighting and decided to head in about 10:30am. As I walked along I realized there was still no sign of another hunter. When I came back upon my own tracks from the walk in I spotted two sets of deer tracks on top of mine that cut into the core of the main woodlot. There was a small but very thick area, maybe 1.5 acres or so, of treetops and regrowth from logging. What the heck, I started following. I spent over an hour picking my way through that jungle mostly on my hands and knees trying to follow those tracks. When I reached the other side, with no sign of the deer, I relaxed and stood up. Wrong move. About 30 yards from me the brush exploded and all I could see were flashes of two deer. They were headed for a cut bean field. I took off on a dead run just hoping to see what they were. (I know, not exactly a lesson in hunters safety. Please never run with a 12 gauge in your hands). When I got to where I could see the bean field I saw a nice buck and a doe running like race horses tails tucked and heads down just "gitten it." On the other side of the bean field was a crossing of fence rows and then a half picked corn field. I decided that even though these two deer were in the next county by now I was going to circle the bean field and try to pick their tracks up on the other side.

    By now it's noon and pushing 40 degrees. The tracks were easy to find and follow until they got to the half picked cornfield which was full of tracks from night time feeding. With the snow melting, it was getting hard to tell fresh tracks from old (at least for me). The deer I was following (now walking) appeared to head out across the cut part of the cornfield and onto neighboring property. Not wanting to walk in the wide open I walked the fence row to the other end of the field. There were no tracks of any kind crossing the fence row or leading onto the next property. Hmmm. I backtracked myself to where the tracks got confusing and looked for a clue. Now I'm standing in the cut corn looking. South of me is the standing corn which had grown poorly and was very scraggly. Most of it only chest high. Wind was out the north. As I'm standing there figuring that it's over I actually cussed out loud. "What the $#*! is going on!" As soon as those words left my mouth I glanced toward the standing corn and not more then 25 yards and four rows into that crappy looking corn stands my buck looking right at me. And then in an instant he wasn't there. He disappeared so fast and without the slightest noise that I questioned if it all had just happened. I stood there not knowing what to do next except listening hoping to here him running off to get a direction of travel. Nothing. Ten minutes go by. Nothing. Now I figure "what have I got to lose." This buck that I jumped 40 acres ago, has now at 25 yards seen, smelled and heard me cuss. He's got to be gone and I just missed it somehow right? So I very slowly walk straight to where I apparently dreamed that he was standing. When I get to the first row of corn I stop and look and look and look. Nothing. Now I am thinking this is all in my head. And then about 20 feet away down by the ground something black catches my eye. As slow as possible I raise my gun and put my scope on it. It is his left eye looking right at me. Then I make out his nose and a tiny spot of his throat patch and nothing else. I settle the cross hairs below that throat patch and squeeze. He rolled up throwing corn stalks everywhere and I popped him again.

    This is one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed a buck do. To just lay down out of site rather than run. How many times had that tactic worked for him? Heck, it was the blink of an eye away from working this time. How many times has any of us walked right past an old buck doing this? Whitetails are an magnificent species and the ones that have survived to see their fourth hunting season are on a different level IMO. From that day on I was hooked on hunting older bucks. I just didn't realize how much more there was (and still is) to learn. It never gets old. You got a favorite?

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  2. Namrock


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    Pulaski Mi -951 miles east of heaven
    Very cool story, lots of twists & turns in that hunt there Dish. That's a really cool buck, lots of mass on that dude. & Yeah I've got a favorite. It's a drop tine 10 that I bow hunted my butt off for in 2015... My dad shot him opening morning of gun season that year. I told him where I thought he should sit, where to watch & gave him my range finder to use because he wasn't familiar with that spot. I've been hunting with my dad my whole life & I've never seen him that excited or happy in the deer woods.
    ∆ My favorite deer & my favorite hunting partner that got him.

  3. old graybeard

    old graybeard

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    I chased this guy around for two seasons. The last year I saw him a couple times a week all through bow season but he was either out of range or on the neighbors property. He kept a low profile during gun season only giving me a quick look as he chased a doe across my hay field. I hunted the entire muzzle loader season waiting for him to show and on the last morning of the season he showed up. Right at first light a doe slowly entered the hayfield as she came up from my pond and behind her I could see a large bodied deer tagging along. He finally lifted his head and I knew right away it was him. They were heading in a direction that would take them away and onto the neighbors so I ranged him and it read 186 yards. I was confident with my gun so I took a solid rest, allowed for the range and squeezed the trigger. It seemed like the smoke cleared and he was still standing there but then I heard the bullet hit and he dropped in his tracks.
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  4. Trap Star

    Trap Star Premium Member

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    Nice deer! It looks like those main beams are darn near touching.

    QDMAMAN Premium Member

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    Vermontville Michigan
    2011 was a magical season all around for me and the buck I killed on Nov. 14th while hunting with my BIL will go down as my favorite and will be hard to beat!
    Also the 2011 season in total which started out with Pez and I going to MO and concluded with a ML hunt in OH with Koz, gave me 3 bucks in 3 states that season.
    Although I've killed 2 bucks that score considerably higher and a few others that were older, this buck, and the hunt, is seared in my memory. He's also the only buck I've killed that qualified for P&Y.
    Earlier in the week my BIL and I traveled to southern OH to hunt public ground with plans to come home in time to hunt the MI gun opener before he'd have to head home to Gaylord.
    The hunting in OH was slow and on Nov. 13th as we rendezvoused mid day to discuss sightings and options to hunt another spot.
    I mentioned to Mark that if we boogied for home we could get a good nights sleep and hunt my place on the 14th. It didn't take much convincing and we were on our way!
    We had a perfect wind to hunt my best spot and I had 2 stands about 120 yards apart that gave us our best chance.
    As dawn lit the morning sky we could see deer in the distance and as the morning wore on the action heated up around 9:00 as mature bucks chased does in front of us.
    A coyote came trotting down through the woods and I grabbed my bow and lip squeaked it in to 11 yards where I anchored her. About 20 minutes later this buck appeared about 250 yards out and started walking in my directions. As he got closer he started on a trail that would angle him further from my stand but in the general direction of Mark. I had one opportunity and mouth grunted when he approached my only shooting lane at 45 yards. He stopped on a dime with his head behind a large walnut tree as I settled my pin behind his shoulder, he dropped in his tracks.
    Mark watched the entire show unfold and was there to celebrate with me. We've since celebrated his best archery buck together in the same woods. Good times!
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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  6. buckhunter14


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    on the water or in the woods
    As alot of you guys I'm sure it is hard to put a "favorite" on just one. My "favorite" buck comes on November 19, 2007. I was fifteen years old and bugged my dad to get out hunting every chance I could get. Dad worked a busy schedule during the week so could only hunt weekends. I had a very secluded funnel not far from my home and kept thinking with the rut and pressure a nice buck might appear in what had been filled with does all fall. Due to my age, I wasn't legally allowed to go hunting by myself and dad would tag along.

    After does had been filtering out of the funnel I looked over my shoulder and see a giant [to me] white rack coming through the swamp. I knew he would have to cross at 35 yards, but I was pinned down by ten or more does. After the does passed by the lead doe snorted and I knew it was over.

    I completed a 180 to see what the outcome was and the buck stood motionless at about 40 yards scent checking. Still can't believe with all the deer below me I was able to shoulder my shotgun and put in a quick shot. Upon walking up to the point of contact, we found white hair and guts. Sick to my stomach, my dad and I made the walk home to wait it out.

    It started raining in a few short hours so we decided to pursue. Toting headlamps and flashlights, we would find some hair, scattered blood, and most importantly bloody acorns. For hours, we would find bloody acorns ever couple of yards leading us. After hours, we took a break and would resume a grid search in the morning.

    After an eight hour search the next day, no luck. After losing all hope, we decided to bag it and head back to the house. The most direct route put us past a neighboring yard that comes in from a different road. As my dad passed the yard, I hear him yell in excitement, "There he is, in the neighbor's back yard!"

    All celebration from then on out. After some years now he is not my biggest, but the excitement still gets me of the "Acorn Buck"!
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  7. Joe Archer

    Joe Archer Staff Member Mods

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    New Baltimore Michigan
    I can't! They are all my favorite in one way or another. Looking back through the years at all the deer and all the stories, it'd be like asking someone to pick their favorite child.
    Here is a story that I posted back in 2015 of one of my favorites. Not the biggest, didn't even make the wall, but maybe the most rewarding hunting season ever for me. It was my only opportunity at any deer at all that year.

    November 11, 2015
    It was a tough year up in my neck of the NeLP woods. I started out hunting the two favorite spots on my property, and state land. However, I was 0 for October as far as deer sightings go with about 85 hours on stand. Still, I was excited to be heading up to bow hunt 8 days of the rut before the firearms opener. Saturday (11/07) proved to be more of the same with no sightings in either stand location.

    The weatherman was predicting perfect conditions for Sunday, and I was sure that this would be the day! Imagine my horror when I wake up on my own Sunday morning, and see the light sky through the cabin window!!! My cell phone alarm was still set for 5:00 AM, but it either didn’t wake me, or it didn’t go off. I didn’t want to risk walking into my spot after sunrise, so I set out on foot to do a little scouting in areas within a mile or so of my cabin.

    One of the areas was an old fire trail that I hadn’t been down in ages because there is generally way more human traffic than deer. I started finding scrapes within 50 yards of the road. The further I walked the more scrapes I found. At about 200 yards in the scrape activity was unlike anything I had ever seen. “Man! This just isn’t my style; 200 yards off the main road on a generally well-traveled trail”?? Still “my style” of boldly going where no man has gone before had produced jack squat! So I set up in a birch tree 5 yards off the two-trail that was nestled between some small pines. Angling behind me, I had shooting window through the branches to a large scrape 15 yards away. To my left I had another window to a larger scrape that was 10 yards away, which would provide numerous shot opportunities out to 20 yards. I could see out south down the two-trail and into an open section of woods that would provide some 50 yard chances, if I were to hunt during rifle..

    Fast forward to the Wednesday afternoon of Veteran’s Day, November 11th. I still hunted down the trail, and gave a muffled doe bleat when I got seated at about 2:30. At about 4:30 I hear the unmistakable sound of footsteps approaching from a northerly direction. I stand, pick up my bow, and turn to look for the approaching deer. Finally! Adrenaline! First, below the canopy I just see legs walking right down the middle if the fire trail. Then I see a silhouette, and finally horns! I almost fell out of my tree in disbelief when I realize that he is a nice wide 8 point! The deer makes his first stop at the 15 yard scrape, but facing me offering no shot. I watch through the pine branches as he walks by me at 5 yards, and turns into the 10 yard scrape. It is all I can do to keep my heart from jumping out of my chest as I watch and wait! He nuzzles the overhanging branches facing away from me, still not offering a shot! He leaves the scrape, walking almost directly away down the middle of the fire trail! My heart sinks as I realize that if he continues another 10 yards it will be over. He will have walked away completely unaware of my presence without offering a shot…. I lose!

    At 17 yards, he turns slightly to his right to sniff the ground where I had taken a practice shot that morning! I hit the small leave I was aiming at. I quickly draw my bow and remain undetected. I split my 10 and 20 yard pins and set them above midline in line with his left front leg. It is a hard quartering away shot, but my pins rest right behind the last rib on his right side. Green light! My thumb instinctively reacts by tripping the release. I watch the arrow disappear pretty close to where I was aiming, maybe an inch or so to the left. The buck turns, and bolts to the east. As I lose sight I listen, and hear him make a left turn that leads to a crash so loud it sounded like a gravel train dumping a load back there! “He’s down”. I marked the trail he ran with my compass, and noted a single large pine about 100 yards away that should be his final resting place.

    Right then the emotions started flowing! I was literally choked-up and thankful for what had just transpired. This was (and would be) my only opportunity to take any deer so far for the 2015 season. I will use the memories of this hunt any time in the future to remind me that it only takes minutes for any season to turn from “pathetic” to “perfect”.

    THIS is what keeps us coming back for more!

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  8. mike hartges

    mike hartges

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    Hillsdale, Mi
    I have a favorite buck that I never shot. I believe he died in 2012 of EHD. He is the biggest buck I've ever seen in the wild.

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  9. sniper


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    Nov 16th 2000....25 degrees with 25-35 gusts....I left my Dad and 5 other hunting partners in Ann Dees Bar in North Adams MI...They were shooting pool with 3-4 beers already erased and wanted zero part of the weather outside through the neon sign in the window...Neither did I to be honest...2 weeks earlier while bow hunting my Dad's neighbor, I found a ditch surrounded by low lying swamp grass with huge rubs on every other tree...Getting out of the wind i hunkered down on a milk crate next to huge tree...Just like clock work, ten minutes before the end of shooting light with my face frozen off, this buck walked right out the ditch 20 yds in front of me..Dropped him in his tracks with the Rem 870...140" ten point....From the guys in the bar, I went from fool to genius in 3
  10. sniper


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    Sorry the pics...

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  11. hypox


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    In the woods
    Same year for me (1998), but mine was Halloween.
  12. Jet08


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    Carleton Michigan
    Nice buck, I would have guessed a little bigger then 140 with that mass and tine length!
  13. cakebaker


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  14. J Eberhart

    J Eberhart

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    Hands down for me it was "Wheezer" in 2000 and he wasn't even close to my biggest buck.

    3 year story that I may have to put on a couple consecutive posts.

    2000 - “WHEEZER”
    I had been Bowhunting for 37 years and in all those years had never encountered a buck as smart, cautious, and definitely as lucky as this guy. This buck became known to my hunting acquaintances as Wheezer due to his uncharacteristic social habits with the matriarch does in the area.

    Our first encounter was in October 1997 while hunting from a large red oak. Two yards east of the oak was a mucky drainage ditch that went north and south and was just wide enough that it couldn’t be jumped over, east of the ditch line was a 5 yard wide buffer of shorter grasses, east of the grass buffer and running along the ditch line was a 20 or so yard wide patch of red brush and east of brush was a large CRP field with tall weeds, and west of the ditch was a crop field that was in standing corn. There was also an active scrape area about 15 yards up the tree line to the north.

    As a side note the section he resided in was likely the most heavily pressured private property I’ve ever hunted as there were at least 30 bowhunters sitting in trees in that 640 acre section every opening day of archery season and likely double that amount of gun hunters on the gun opener.

    Just as it was cracking daylight I decided to perform a couple light rattling sequences, but the first sequence was all it took as I immediately heard a deer moving through the corn in my direction. Within 30 seconds an 8 point stepped out of the corn and offered me a 10 yard broadside shot.

    As the cams rolled over while drawing my bow one of them made a slight tick noise and he heard it, ran down the side of the corn, and stopped out of range. At that time I had no clue as to just how much frustration this buck was going to cause me over the next 3 seasons.

    Not once during all my practice sessions was that sound ever made and that day I took the bow in and had both axles cleaned and lubricated.

    On a hunt from the same tree in 1998 a friend that has permission on the property rattled in the same buck just prior to dark. He had a decoy set out which in all likelihood cost him an opportunity because when the buck crossed the ditch from the tall weed field into what was now a soybean field, he had a mature doe with him.

    The doe walked towards the decoy as he waited along the edge of the ditch about 50 yards to the south. Does are more curious and tend to figure out decoys much quicker than bucks and when she got within 10 yards she spooked back across the ditch and he went with her. Now a 3½ year old, he was about 16 inches wide and was still sporting 8 points.

    On an evening hunt during the pre-rut and out of the same oak tree, I could see antlers moving above the weeds and they were coming directly towards me. As he entered the red brush which now had lost its foliage I could tell he was our buck.

    He slowly moved through the red brush and stopped just prior to exposing his body into the grassy buffer, which would have given me a 20 yard shot. What happened next not only floored me, it also gave him his name. The buck stood there like a rock gazing into the now picked soybean field until it was just about dark and then for no good reason he wheezed. Now I’ve heard bucks wheeze on several occasions, but there was always less dominant bucks around, and done to show dominance. This was definitely different and was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen while hunting.

    Within seconds of him wheezing, three large does that had been feeding in the beans, crossed the ditch within twenty yards of me and started scent checking up and down the grassy buffer. They were so close I could hear them sniffing air through their nostrils in an attempt to smell any danger. It reminded me of body guards checking to see if it was safe for the President to pass through.

    They never confronted him but walked by him several times as if it were routine and once satisfied that it was safe, the does crossed back across into the beans. My full ScentLok suit and rubber boots had kept them from winding me or smelling where I had walked to my tree as they crossed my entry route several times.

    Unfortunately, it was now too dark to make out anything close except dark shadows and I never heard or seen him leave the red brush. So as not to spook anything close with my departure I waited for an hour and a half before exiting my tree.

    All the way back to the van I kept thinking how cool that experience was and that nobody would believe me. I was also excited to have a worthy opponent to brainstorm against and that opponent would become known as the “Wheezer”.

    I waited a week until my last hunt of the season at that location and it was uneventful. I was told that on the gun opener he was shot at and missed by two hunters as he ran across the weed field with a doe.

    The next year the crops were rotated into corn and on opening morning as I walked down the edge of the standing corn towards my tree two hours prior to daybreak, I could hear bucks sparring across the ditch in the weed field. As the bucks kept sparring about 75 yards away I quietly ascended the oak and into my tree sling.

    The bucks kept sparring and taking long breaks until the crack of dawn and as my eyes adjusted to the light I could make out Wheezer having sparring matches with two smaller bucks. Shortly after daybreak and while sparring, Wheezer stopped, let out a long loud wheeze, and the two subordinate bucks immediately headed back across the ditch and passed below me into the standing corn.

    Wheezer slowly walked away and disappeared into the tall weeds and later that morning my friend took one of the 8-points that had passed by me. Wheezer was now 4 ½ years old and was still an 8 point, but had grown to about an 18 inch spread. It was gratifying to see him still alive but depressing to know how nocturnal he was beyond the confines of the tall weed field which was now his main bedding area.

    Michigan is a 2 buck state and my friend had what we think was the next encounter with wheezer. He had set up in a red oak along the edge of a small marsh that separated the cornfield to the north from a large woodlot to the south and it was late October and the pre-rut was in full swing.

    The woods to the south had a lot of oaks and there was quite a bit of doe traffic that passed through it in the mornings and evenings. It was a dead quiet, frosty morning and a while before daybreak he heard a deer walking through the marsh from the cornfield. The deer stopped about 10 to 15 yards from the oak and it was still dark so he sat still and didn’t turn around to look.

    It was assumed that he had stopped and staged to listen for other deer moving in the oaks. They both remained motionless until it was just cracking daylight at which time he slowly turned his head to see, absolutely nothing. After hearing that deer move through over 100 yards of frost covered marsh grass, he left without making a sound. We both felt fairly positive that he had again encountered Wheezer. He now believed what I had told him about this deer.

    In early November I was back in the oak for only the third time of the season as I didn’t want to overhunt it and totally alter his routine. That hunt was a carbon copy of the hunt in 1998 that rightfully earned wheezer his name. He came through the weeds, entered the red brush, stopped at the edge, wheezed, and this time four does (one was a fawn) came out of the standing corn, crossed the ditch and ditto, it was after dark again with nothing but frustration to drag out of the woods with my seemingly crappy hunting plan. That was my last hunt for him of the season.

    Year 2000, new century and hopefully the Wheezer made it through gun season again. My hope was that he lost some brain cells because so far I had not been a worthy adversary. The farmer planted corn again which I preferred due to the secure transition from bedding area to feeding area/standing corn security cover for mature deer.

    At 4:30 a.m. on opening morning as I was approaching the red oak I spooked 2 deer standing beneath the annual primary scrape tree 15 yards up the edge of the corn. All I could do was sigh as my flashlight beam crossed paths with the Wheezer as he splashed across the ditch heading into the weed field. Yep, he made it another season but damn, it was 2-1/2 hours before daybreak and he was already staged at the scrape area. I reluctantly climbed into my sling to take on the now morning task of basically birdwatching.

    That evening I passed up a 2-1/2 year old 8 point while awaiting another confrontation with the Wheezer, which as I knew beforehand would never happen. One thing I couldn’t figure out was why he continued bedding in the weed field when there was at least 100 acres of standing corn to bed in with total security, and no chance of danger with a transition from a bedding to feeding area. This puzzled me, because usually that much standing corn attracts the dominant bucks to bed in. Oh well.

    On October 21st, on an evening hunt I decided to try and rattle him in as I hadn’t performed a rattle sequence in that location for 2 years. As the sun was dipping beneath the horizon I began the first sequence and within moments I could not only hear, I could also see the tops of the cornstalks wiggling as a deer was moving through the corn in my direction.
  15. J Eberhart

    J Eberhart

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    Wheezer part 2

    I tied my rattle bag to my bow rope and lowered it to the ground and jiggled it to give the deer the exact location as he was closing the distance. When he reached about 8 rows in where I could see his headgear, my anticipation stopped. It was a cute little six point and after a few minutes of looking, listening, and sniffing the air, he went back into the cornfield.

    As nightfall was creeping in and I began preparing to get down, I heard a deer moving towards me down the ditch line. Could it be, absolutely, Wheezer was moving through the grass buffer down the other side of the ditch towards me. There was still enough light to make a shot but before he came within range, he stopped, wheezed, two does came out of the corn, crossed the ditch and started scent checking for him.

    After lowering my rattle bag to the ground earlier I had tied a loop in my bow rope and hung it on an empty bow holder and forgot to raise it back up and of course one of the does walked under the tree and winded the fabric. She snorted and that was the end of that.

    The reality of me ever taking Wheezer was becoming very bleak. How could a buck that kept such a tight and routine pattern be so difficult to kill? The reason was obvious as he never entered my small kill zone during daylight hours, at least not on the days I hunted there. I also felt that if that oak were hunted more than 3 or 4 times per season that he would either find another entry location into the crop field or simply make the transition later after dark. Also there was just way too much deer activity going on in that field for me to hunt that spot with any more regularity.

    Thank God that on the evening of November 2nd it was very windy otherwise what ended up happening next never would have happened. It was around 3pm by the time I was in the red oak and once settled in I couldn’t help but notice that two of the nearby scrapes had obvious wet spots in them from fresh urine. At 4:40, I about fell out of my tree when Wheezer stood up in the red brush and walked out the side of it. I ranged him at 41 yards and as he moved at a slight angle towards the ditch, I drew my bow.

    I had anticipated this moment for so long that I had a momentary brain fart, and actually thought about taking the very poor quartering forward shot opportunity. Fortunately I let back down. The scrapes were fresh and I figured he would cross the ditch to check them, giving me a 15 yard shot.

    As Wheezer slowly and quietly crossed and exited the muddy ditch I couldn’t help but notice his legs being covered in black muck well above his knees. It brought back memories of a couple other mature bucks I had taken during the early 1980’s from a small island in the middle of a mucky cattail marsh.

    Wheezer followed the heavy cover along the ditch to get downwind of the scrapes, putting him directly downwind of me. Yes, even then I had enough confidence in my ScentLok garments and scent control regimen that the thought of him winding me never entered my mind.

    The opportunity I had been waiting for was finally going to take place. He stopped momentarily 20 yards from the scrapes and raised his snout in the air to scent check them. He then dropped his head and slowly moved towards the standing corn. It was now or never! I had spent 4 years and umpteen hours in preparation for this one mili-moment that was about to take place.

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