Days 11 & 12 – November 4 & 5, 2013
November 4, 2013
Weather: mid 20s in the morning, mid 40s by afternoon. Mostly sunny.
Winds: Light and variable
Time: Dawn to Dark
Today I found myself back at the same spot as Day 9. The heavy action from Saturday continued. About 30 minutes after first light I spotted a deer running through the brush below me. Shortly thereafter, I spotted a buck behind her. I checked him out with the binoculars and saw that it was a 3 on top on both sides without brow tines, making him a 6 point. He chased her around below me, but the never found their way up to me. He wasn’t what I was looking for anyway.
The 6 point (every picture I tried to take he would stop behind brush)
They disappeared into the brush and about 15 minutes later the woods erupted and I had deer running up out of the brush in my direction. It was 6 does/fawns and a small 3 point. The does and fawns went up over the hill rather quickly, while the 3 point milled around at about 15 yards. He eventually worked his way up the hill and out of sight.
The 3 point
The woods went quiet for about 30 minutes before I spotted something moving in the brush below me. A nice looking red fox moving through the area looking for a meal.
After the fox left it was all quiet again for another hour, when I spotted movement on the flat below me. It checked it out with my binoculars and spotted a doe working along the brush. While watching her, I caught more movement behind her. I moved the binoculars over to the new movement and spotted antlers immediately. It didn’t take long to realize that it was the same buck I had missed the other week. The deer casually worked their way up the hill heading in my direction. I figured the doe would bring him right past me. As they got up to the hill about 50 yards below me, I caught movement behind them. It was another doe and the 6 point from earlier. The new doe walked over to the other doe and the two had a very brief boxing match, before the two continued to feed. Both does were working their way up the hill with the 8 point staying on one edge of the road and the 6 point on the other edge. As the does got further and further up the hill, they crossed the road and worked their way over to my hang on stand. The 8 point was about 20 yards from that stand. Figures…
Once they got to the top of the hill, the two does crossed the road and were heading right to me. Both bucks were slowly creeping behind them. The does got to about 15 yards with the 6 point at about 20 yards and the 8 point at about 30 yards, but closing. The 8 point was facing me and in too much brush, so he needed to come another 10-12 yards for a shot. The 6 point was standing in the wide open, go figure. As the bucks slowly closed, I caught something running in my peripheral vision. I look up and see the 5 point from Saturday running across the flat in my direction. The does took off running past my stand as the small buck gave chase. The 6 and 8 point soon followed. The 8 point came through my openings, but wouldn’t stop for anything. I couldn’t believe it… Another encounter with this buck, but unable to connect.
I sat in the tree for another hour before catching movement in the brush below me. It was the 6 point cruising across the hill behind me. I watched him as he walked across and into the hollow on the other side of the road before he disappears down over the hill.
After that, it was a long four hours in the stand with nothing moving. Around 3pm, I had two button bucks work across the flat beside me. They fed in front of for a good 30 minutes before heading down the hill. Around 4:30pm, I caught movement above me. Wouldn’t you know it, it is the 5 point that messed everything up that morning. He worked his way down the hill, browsing the whole time. Just as it was getting dark out, I had a fawn doe come in under my tree. She fed around my tree until I decided that I needed to go and spooked her away. A good, exciting day in the tree. The chasing phase seems to be here, so the bigger cruisers should not be far behind.
November 5, 2013
Weather: Mostly cloudy with temperature between mid 30s and high 50s
Wind: 5-10mph, mostly out of the southwest, but constantly shifting
Time: Dawn – Dark
I normally wouldn’t combine two all day sits into one post, but there wasn’t much to talk about on this day. Whatever switch was turned on the day before had been abruptly turned back off. I had a single button buck feed across the flat in front of me for the better of an hour between 10 and 11am, but that was it for deer movement on the day.
I tried moving spots for the evening and set up in a hollow that used to be a great evening rut spot. I set up over two freshly worked scrapes in hopes that the deer that worked them would show.
Other than two woodcocks, a raccoon going back legs first 40 feet down a tree, and a ton of squirrels, there wasn’t much to write about tonight.
With the poor movement and warm temperatures rolling in on the 6th, I decided to head to work for two days and then try again on Friday after the cold front passes through.
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.