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Deer season opens with one that got away

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By Shelton Young

Modern gun season was, if you’ll excuse the expression, a blast. Sorry, just couldn’t resist!

Anyway, hunted a spot where I had permission the first of the week because my “primary” location still had way too much standing corn. Then, toward the middle of the week, they started taking it out!

When that happened it became a lot easier to see the deer. One afternoon I went out and no sooner than I’d arrived I heard a combine coming. Out popped the farmer who told me a nice buck was at the far end of the corn field.

I eased around and there he was some 300-plus yards away. *Note to self: Buy a range finder! It was a do-able shot on a nice 8-point buck. We were using an 8-point minimum this year, so I settled in for the shot.

When I shot, the buck just looked around! I shot again and he “bucked up.” This usually indicates one of two things: 1.) the deer was shot or 2.) I’d shot under him.

Then the buck starts running toward me. At 150 yards the buck cut into the corn, and I have no idea which way he went. Found no blood or hair to indicate he’d been hit. Spent the next two days looking for the buck but found nothing. No deer and no buzzards. Sometimes you can locate a dead deer by the presence of buzzards.

Since it seems a wounded deer will often go to water, I checked every pond, stream and drainage ditch I could find.

In the end I never found the buck. Maybe this makes me a poor hunter, but to have not looked would have made me an unethical hunter.

Now it’s time for excuses and an explanation as to why I probably missed. My rifle scope has a built in range compensator. With this you judge your distance, dial it in on your scope, hold dead on and shoot. No holdover is required cause bullet drop is “figured in.”

With my buck, I saw him, figured the distance and shot. In my excitement I never dialed in my 300+ yard distance and shot for the 150 yard distance the scope was set on.

Course the sun was in my eyes, the wind wasn’t in my favor and the air was full of dust from the combining.

I keep telling myself that I probably missed.

 

Saturday found me in a tree stand just barely inside Green County hunting with my sons. The stand I was in was a “double stand”, that’s two small hunters or one very large hunter.

While the stand wasn’t real comfortable, there was enough going on to make the discomfort bearable.

Right before good light, I heard a deer walking in the leaves. Well, it was a deer or a squirrel!

When the light got good I saw a deer’s ear flicker, or it might’ve been a leaf blowing in the wind! Then I saw a horizontal line that was a deer’s back. That or a section of tree limb that’d blown down! Off to the right I saw an antler sticking up from behind a clump of weds, which turned out to be just another weed!

Now if any of you say you’ve never thought something was a deer, that turned out to be something simple, you haven’t deer hunted very much.

After about an hour I saw another ear flicker, but was actually a deer! Two does just appeared. They milled around then wandered off.

Later a little spike showed up and finally a four-pointer came in. The four-pointer had his nose on the ground sniffing and never looked up. He was on an almost dead run, with apparently one thing on his mind! Looked sorta like a beagle tracking a rabbit.

Neither the spike or the four were “shooters” so they both got the opportunity to grow up.

That afternoon the four-point came back by the stand but this time he wasn’t sniffing.’ I noticed his neck wasn’t swelled either.

O.K. For all my young friends, inexperienced friends and those who, for whatever reason, don’t hunt: Male deer (bucks) follow scent left by does approaching their breeding cycle, bucks “sniffing the trail.” 

Bucks approaching the breeding urge have necks that swell up!

Two sets of two does also came out that evening. Neither pair was there that morning. One set looked like a mama and her yearling offspring. And the old doe was huge!

Sunday the weather was a bummer.

While my sons live in Adair County they have a hunting lease in Green County, which is a Zone 2. I’ve still got a week to hunt even though our Zone 3 is now closed.

Seasons coming up: Till Dec. 31 is crossbow season, Dec. 14-22 for muzzle loaders, Dec. 7-13 for fall turkey and we can hunt rabbits and quail until Jan. 31.

Duck and goose hunters: Season starts Nov. 28 and runs until Jan. 26, 2014 for ducks and Jan. 31, 2014 for geese.

 

Thursday, Nov. 21 our 4-H Fishing Club will meet at the extension office, in the Fairgrounds, at 6:30 p.m.

 

That’s it for this week. Get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I’ll see ya next week!