By Mark Kenyon
The chess match continues. Sigh…
Going into last night’s hunt my anticipation level was reaching a fever-pitch. As noted in yesterday’s journal entry – between the weather conditions and the observations I’d had on Monday night, I thought last night’s hunt was going to be dynamite and for the most part, it was.
From the moment I got into the stand, I had deer moving out into the fields to feed. In total, I think I saw somewhere around eight different bucks, including two mature bucks, two 2.5 year olds and a bunch of dinks. And at about 6:15, almost an hour before dark, one of those mature bucks stepped out into the cut bean field in front of me at about 130 yards.
It was Holyfield. And when he heard one of those 2.5 year old bucks rustling around on the edge of the food plot in front of me, he started trotting right in my direction. Game on.
I told myself it was about to happen. Slowly grabbed my bow. Pulled my facemask down. Got my rangefinder handy and took a deep breath.
120 yards. 110 yards. 100 yards. 90 yards. And then he stopped. He looked out towards the road. Something had gotten his attention and moments later he turned tail and jogged back into the woods. The next I saw of him was 80 yards back into the cover in a little opening along a creek. Two bucks that had been in the food plot earlier were now circling each-other, and Holyfield headed in towards them and seemed to be giving them the stanky eye. I thought he might be in a tussling mood, so I decided to give him a challenge. I ripped off a snort wheeze, and he looked my way. A minute later he kept moving off and I let off one low long grunt and he looked my way again. But after another pause he decided he didn’t like what he was hearing, and he walked straight away back into the brush.
I was obviously pretty bummed, and a little mad at myself for maybe getting too aggressive with the calls. In the moment, it seemed like the thing to do, but maybe I’d gone too far? Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose.
Nonetheless, about an hour later, after shooting light, I did see him come back out into the beanfield and feed out towards some does several hundred yards away. And that was the hunt.
Moving forward, I’m trying to balance getting after Holyfield and producing the articles/podcasts/videos you guys expect me to put out, haha. I canceled one interview yesterday in order to hunt, but I have got to record this afternoon – so that might mean no hunt this evening. But, if the current deluge of rain dies down, I might try to sneak in late. If that doesn’t happen, I’m definitely planning on getting back after him tomorrow as temps will be in the mid 40’s.