The minute my mom got home and could watch the baby, Dad and I were in the woods. That morning, Dad had pulled the chips from the cameras so we could see what was still around after week 1. The group of 5 does were still around and coming to the apple trees on a regular basis. There was one picture of what looked like the small crotch horn and then... that 8 point buck! For the entire week, he would come back to his scrape every other night. He checked it around 6 pm, ate for about 30 minutes and would come back around 4:30 am to check the scrape again. He was the most frequent deer on the camera!!!
When Dad and I headed into the woods, I could only think about that deer.
"When he comes out, just say its him and I'll get him" I told Dad.
We got settled in the Sky Condo and waited...waited...waited. We were checking all of the possible trails as it changed from bright and colorful to black, white and gray. A small wind kept things just noisy enough that we could not rely on our ears to hear anything coming in. I leaned forward to look beyond Dad.
"There is a deer!" I whispered. "It's coming this way. I just saw the back end of him"
Dad lifted his binoculars and started looking for movement in the trees. I shifted and brought my gun up to rest on the window ledge of the Condo.
"I don't see anything" Dad kept looking into the woods for movement but could not find the deer. If there really was a deer, it never showed itself.
We hit the end of legal hunting time and headed back empty handed.
The next morning, I was up early and ready to go. I wanted to make sure that the minute we hit legal hunting time, I would be ready for that deer to check his scrape again. There was a small breeze still but we were hopeful that a snap would still be heard. It was the first weekend back in the woods since we turned our clocks back, so it felt like it took a long time for the sun to come up.
Just before dawn, I saw a deer! Just a quick flash of the white antlers as he put his head down to graze. They looked small, maybe the spike or crotch horn again. I slapped Dad's knee
"Deer! Right up against the tree line!"
Dad got his binoculars out and I got in position, lifted my gun, looked through the scope and aimed at the spot where the deer would step out. I wanted to be ready if I decided to take him. I could see the brown body and the outline of his tail. I kept looking through my scope. My heart was pounding and I tried to take deep breaths without making noise to calm myself down and steady my shot. He still had not stepped out.
"Where is he?"
"I think he walked up into the woods"
"Should I try my bleet?"
Three calls on the bleet and nothing. The deer never stepped out beyond the tree but had turned and calmly walked into the woods. We waited another hour and then headed to a new spot. Dad left me and made a big loop trying to catch up with the deer we had seen earlier. He jumped one deer but the cool thing he found was a rub. A rub on a tree that he could barely get his hands around. A monster rub that I can only assume belongs to my monster buck. Dad finds a lot of cool things when he walks. Some day, I will ask him to take a camera with him and document all of these things!
But, our day went on and ended quietly. No deer in the afternoon or evening. We ended week 2 empty-handed but still hopeful that a cold snap or the onset of the rut could get that 8 pointer moving more frequently.
This weekend, we will only hunt on Saturday instead of Friday afternoon due to some scheduling issues and the fact that for the first time EVER, we are bringing along a 3rd person! Hubby is coming hunting with us. I told him he was not allowed to shoot that 8 pointer this weekend and he just laughed. Dad and I need to figure out the logistics for a 3 person hunt; Hubby has not hunted from a tree stand and one of mine is too small for him. I would stick him in the Sky Condo and go sit in another seat but with him as eager to land that 8 pointer as I am, I dont think I want to share that potential good spot. It's game on!