Thursday, November 8, 2007
Fun with Spike Buck
This is the week of my annual hunting trip with Nathan. We are both avid bow hunters and enjoy pursuing the whitetail deer most. We spent the first three days in NE Missouri where we had many nice encounters with deer but had no mature deer come in close enough for a shot. I got sick of not shooting, so when a 2 year old 8 point came in to range, I took a shot...and missed over his back. Oh well...I didn't want to gut it anyway.
Today and tomorrow we are back in Kansas hunting where I'll keep at it off and on until the rifle season comes in at the end of the month (at which time the deer head for the hills and hardly come out during daylight hours). We had cool encounters with young deer this morning and again this evening. We haven't really seen any mature bucks (3 years old or better) yet, the weather is too warm and the rut isn't really kickin' yet.
Here's a funny story from today- Nathan is filming my hunt for a big buck (whoever tags out first films the other, last year I got to film Nathan's buck kill- pretty cool). We were in a ground blind with a buck decoy to our right. We settled in at 1:30 pm just in case some rutting activity began and deer got on their feet earlier than dusk. We figured being alert and ready around 3pm would suffice, so we took a nap in our respective spots. About 2:50 pm I aroused to look up and see a spike buck (like the picture above) coming toward our set up. He was coming right to me when he spotted our decoy. He started posturing and threatening to gore it. He circled it, sniffed it, lunged at it. Pretty funny little guy- all together different from a mature deer. I was concerned another deer would come in so I told Nathan to get ready. Low and behold, he was out like a light. I couldn't wake him by saying his name several times. He just snoozed away. He was about 5 feet behind me so I couldn't poke him. I didn't want to spook the deer as it would make a racket and alert any other deer who might be heading our way to not come. When I turned to look back at the spike with the decoy, he had turned and was walking right at us. He got to 5 feet away before Nathan rustled and scared the daylights out of the deer when he sat up like a groggy, resurrected dead man. The deer jumped backward and ran about 20 yards looking back at the two moving blobs behind the decoy. He promptly trotted off, just a little more educated than before. Encounters like that are part of what makes hunting enjoyable. For the spike buck, encounters like that, assuming he doesn't get shot, will make him all the more difficult to harvest as he gets older.
An old-timer once told me- no person can outsmart a wary, 4 or 5 year old buck...you just have to arrange to be around when he runs out of luck.
Hopefully one will run out of luck soon for me.