Posse member Jess Johnson drove down from Wisconsin to hunt with me for a few days and we had a blast Tuesday night. With a southwest wind I struggled all day trying to figure out where to hunt. I finally decided to try a new set I put up this year but never got a chance to hunt.
We kicked up two does and a heavy 8pt near the stand so that got our blood pumping a bit. When we got to the stand I was glad to see deer trails all around it in the snow.
With about an hour of camera light left....two does came racing in from the west. They didn't stick around long and we soon spotted two nice bucks about 100 yards to the west of us....then another....and another. Before long there were 6 bucks in the field and 4 were shooters. The buck that got our attention the most was a great 11 point.
While watching these bucks, two of them kept sparring. Before long...one of their antlers fell off......very cool. We watched these deer, along with about 10 does for about an hour but they never presented a shot.
We didn't get a shot opportunity but is was a GREAT sit!!! The action eased the pain of having to walk 600 yards across a chisel plowed corn field with a foot of snow on top.
Jess returned home that night so I planned on a return trip to that stand on Wednesday without a camera. Oh my!!!! I went earlier and I snuck in super quiet, assuming that deer could be bedded again near the stand. I was able to get set without bumping any deer and I was excited for what the night might have to offer. The sun was bright and the temp's were finally above freezing for the first time in what feels like forever.
As I started a game of poker on my cell, I noticed the time at 2:00 which meant a 3 hour sit in a beautiful setting of snow and hopefully BIG BUCKS!!!! About thirty minutes later I looked to the west (where we saw all of the action the night before) and I spotted two does running my direction......with four bucks in tow!!!!
The does were able to put the slip on them for a bit....but the bucks found their "scent" and continued on to the east.
OK...let's recap: 4 bucks chasing 2 does at 2:30 on January 13th
I watched this action for about a minute and then looked back to the west. Holy $#!)%.....6 more bucks coming which included 2 definite shooters. (a big 10 and a bigger 8) These bucks entered my woods, following the same path as the previous group...but these guys stopped and hung out for about 20 minutes @ 40 yards. They spent their time either bedded down, munching on whatever they could find to eat, or sparring with each other. The big 8 and big 10 hung out next to each other and spent the entire time just five steps from being in a shooting lane. (I forgot to mention a 7th buck in this group that stayed back about 80 yards and bedded down alone. He was a BIG 6pt....the biggest frame buck of the bunch)
All these deer had to do was.....A) continue on in their original direction of travel which would have put them on a trail with a nice big shooting lane and a 30 yard shot....or B) stay basically where they are but just work their way ever so slightly down the hill closer to me. There was one frickin' limb in the way of every possible shot where they currently were. They were upwind of me, relaxed, and I was just waiting for the opportunity. All of a sudden a woodpecker started doing his thing and the noise got them a little jumpy. They ended up retreating back to the location of the 6 pt where they went back to chillin'......and this is where they spent the rest of the evening.
By far the BEST night I've ever had in the woods where I didn't shoot something. I just wish the action was on film. It was so cool watching those bucks doing their "thang" with not a worry in the world....all at 40 yard......not to mention the bucks chasing does so late in the season.
I returned back for a third night but only saw three squirrels.
WHAT A WAY TO END TO END THE SEASON!!!! A tough season...a long season....but another chance to do what I love to do