It started off like any other day in the woods might. Cool, crisp morning. A light wind from the North. And me, falling asleep in the treestand, head bobbing up down like a bobblehead. Luckily, soon after the sun peaked over the horizon, deer began filtering across the overgrown grass field and my attention was peaked. Over the course of the first couple hours this past Sunday morning, I watched 7 doe and a small buck file across this clear cut power line, as they moved to my west to bed. It was a good morning.
But it suddenly became a great morning when my eye caught a glimmer to the North and East. There, standing just 90 yards away was the biggest buck I’d seen yet this year. And after closer examination, I realized it was a buck I’ve been getting on trailcam this year, a buck I call “Six Shooter”. He’s essentially a giant six pointer with a awesome brow tines and really nice G2s. If he had a 4th point on each side, I’d say he’d be a 130″+ 8 pointer, which is a DANDY in my book. But even with him only having six real points, he’s one awesome buck and after seeing his body, I can also tell he is definitely mature.
So after several minutes of milling around, he proceeded to bed down at about 90 yards in this tall grass, and there he lay for about two hours. All the while I plotted out what I should do. I considered putting the sneak on him, but he was bedded so close to me, and facing directly towards me. I was afraid I wouldn’t even be able to get out of my stand without spooking him. So I figured I’d wait. Finally after a few hours he stood up, and walked off in the opposite direct, paying no mind to my grunt calls. And after another hour, I decided to sneak out and return later that day.
At 3:00 PM I slipped back out to the same stand, slightly paranoid that he may still be nearby and that I could spook him. I took my sweet time getting in to the stand, and a couple hours later I was happy I did so. At about 5:30, as I slowly turned my head to the right, there again in the same spot I saw him that morning, was “Six Shooter”. Seemingly sun bathing in the afternoon heat.
The next two hours were filled with anticipation, suspense, awesome deer watching and a close call. I was able to watch this buck for hours, as he lived the life of a mature buck right in front of my eyes. It was fascinating to see and something that I’ve played over and over in my head since. But after an hour or so of milling around, rubbing little trees, bedding, feeding, etc, he finally started moving off. And luckily it seemed like he’d head my general direction. So over the course of the last 20 minutes in the stand I went through the repeated steps of adjust the camera to where I thought he’d pass, range the shooting lane again, breathe, breathe, position my bow, realign my feet, breathe, breathe, and then repeat. He seemed to take forever and the whole time I was trying very hard not to have a hard attack or pee my pants, which seemed eminent after drinking two Pepsis over the past couple hours.
But finally the stars seemed to align, and he moved towards the timber behind me and the last possible shooting lane I had at 40 yards. With the camera rolling, my bow ready to draw and my shakes temporarily on hold, I prepared to kill my largest buck to date.
He stepped from behind the tree, and I waited for him to take the few steps down to the right to head into my opening. But…instead, he took a step to the left and proceeded to cross just out of range and behind a branch at about 45-50 yards. With no interest in my desperate grunts calls, he glided into the timber and out of my life.
So now I’m left wondering if I did something wrong or if it just wasn’t my time. But none-the-less, it was certainly a great encounter and hopefully not my last with him this year. My day with “Six Shooter” was one I won’t soon forget, and hopefully it’s one I can repeat soon with a different ending.