Day 10 – November 2, 2013
Weather: Mostly cloudy, temperatures in the upper 40s – mid 50s
Wind: Light and mostly out of the west
Time: Dawn – 12 pm
I headed to the same tree as Wednesday only this time I climbed another four to five feet higher in the tree since the lack of leaves was leaving me a little more exposed than I liked. As the woods brightened the sound of turkeys in the trees around me filled the woods. I had them to my left, right, and directly below me. Being that I was in a good position for deer hunting, I decided that I would only try to take a turkey if they walked within 20 yards of me on their own. Otherwise, I was deer hunting only. Around 7:30 the first two birds pitched down from my right and landed about 25 yards below me. I grabbed my bow, just in case, but as the others pitched down, they all headed down over the hill and sat about 50 yards away grooming themselves for the better part of the next 30 minutes.
A long distance view of the birds working their way across the hill below me.
While watching the turkeys grooming themselves, I heard a branch break out to my left. I turned and spotted a very small deer heading up the hill and angling right to me. I checked it out with the binoculars and confirmed it was indeed a fawn. As I lowered my binoculars I caught movement behind her. I figured it was probably the mother doe, but instead it was a 6 point that I have seen a lot through my trail cameras and I am fairly certain is a deer that I saw quite a few times last year. He has a very narrow spread, but 3-4″ brow times and thick bases. A definite 2 year old. The doe crossed at about 10 yards and the buck followed her the whole way, nose to the ground and grunting. He passed by and I snapped a few pictures.
The 6 point
No sooner did he disappear into the next hollow, I spotted movement off to my left again. Here comes a buck working along the edge of the ridge and heading right for me. I checked him out with the binoculars. A small 5 point. The followed the exact path of the 6 point under my tree, before heading into the next hollow as well.
The 5 point
About fifteen minutes later, I spotted movement out in front of me. Coming down the hill was yet another buck. I checked him out with the binoculars, but he was just a small year and a half old 6 point. He stayed at about 50 yards and never came in close enough for a picture.
The next two-plus hours were spent watching squirrels and hearing the occasional turkey yelping below me. Around 11am, I caught movement at about 60 yards in the way of a small sapling swaying back and forth in a vicious manner. I pulled up the binoculars and spotted a decent rack immediately. As he finished rubbing the small oak tree, I could see that it was about a 15″ wide 7 point. His points didn’t have much length to him, so I was on the fence about taking him if he were to close the gap. He walked over to another tree and started rubbing that as well. As he was rubbing, I spotted the 5 point from earlier heading down the hill, heading towards the 7 point. As the 5 point approached, the 7 point stopped rubbing and instead lowered his head and put his ears back. He aggressively stepped towards the 5 point, but the younger buck knew his place and continued on his way down the hill. The 7 point slowly followed him down the hill, staying at about 50 yards the whole way. I probably would have been tempted to take him, so I was glad that he stayed out of range.
After he left the area, the sun finally popped out for the first time and it didn’t take long for the woods to warm up. I sat in the tree until 12pm before deciding to climb down and go grab lunch.
Weather: Cloudy with light rain, temperatures in the high 50s
Wind: 15-20 mph with much stronger gusts mostly out of the southwest
Time: 4:30pm – Dark
The evening sit was definitely night and day in comparison to the morning hunt. The weather report called for a light wind, but I was definitely not prepared for the nonstop swaying back and forth that I ended up experiencing for the entire evening. I saw a few squirrels running around, but that was it. No deer tonight. While it doesn’t appear that the peak of the rut is underway, it is safe to say that the seeking phase is very much underway. It should be an incredible final two weeks of the season.