Well I was lucky enough to hunt Maryland this Saturday with a family member on a farm along the Eastern Shore. Talk about a lot of deer!
Hunted a 700 acre farm on the eastern shore Saturday morning with my cousin and his good friend who maintains the farm for someone else. We had permission to hunt 300 of the 700 acres. Friday night we sat in stand to get an idea of what was going on. Few minutes before dark I had 12 deer come out in front of me. Had to wait to leave the stand until they were gone. That was exciting.
Saturday the opener was a long day.
I was told that the Property rules are Doe are fair game as they have too many and Bucks they would prefer be 8 or better and antlers out beyond the ears but if I see something bigger than I have shot before I had permission to shoot it.
Saturday morning we're up at 4:30 am.
We got in our respective stands by 5:30 Am. Not even 10 minutes into the stand I had a buck come through. Couldn't see how many points but I could see antler. Was well before shooting time so regardless it got a pass. Around 6:45 a group of about 8 Doe come through the field at about 400 yards. About an hour later another group of 7 Doe come through. I ranged them at 130 yards. Little long for the slug gun as I've only been able to practice at 100 yards but I figured it wasn't much different so I adjusted to what I thought was the correct amount. She ran around in circles twice while the others in the group headed for the woods. She turned to follow and went into the woods behind the group. Turns out I guess I shot over it. Myself and the two other guys in my group looked for 2 hours to make sure it was a clean miss. It was.
After that we went back for lunch/breakfast. The two others took a nap while I went back out to a different stand. Got into stand about 12:45 and prepared to wait.
Had a guy on the neighboring property drive by on a 4 wheeler. Other than that it was rather boring. Around 3:45 I saw a single deer in the field to my right. No antlers and it was a little small. Ranged it at 102 yards. Watched it feed for about 15 minutes and it went back into the woods.
I looked at my watch, 4:43pm and it is starting to get dark. I've already excepted the fact that I won't get a shot on a deer and regardless it was a fun experience. I think overall I had seen 30+ deer in less than two days.
I caught movement to my left at the field edge. I'm watching. Deer! Watching it come out of the woods it was alone and fairly large. As it worked its way closer, feeding, I could see antlers. I texted my cousin to let him know I have a buck in the field and it was working its was towards me. So I'm watching this guy feed and slowly make its way closer. At this point I'm still trying to count points. He lifted his head and turned. The silhouette triggered an instant "Shooter!" in my head. He was just under 100 yards away and I lined up my shot. BANG! I knew I hit him. He ran about 20 yards and stopped so I decided at that point I didn't want to risk him getting away so I took another shot BANG! He jumped and ran into the woods on the opposite site of the field.
I unloaded my shotgun at that point. Texted my cousin and his buddy saying I had a big buck, it's hit and it's inside the woods. We decided to wait a while before going after it to give it time to expire. I waited at the stand while they both waited until hunting time was over. They got the truck and some flashlights and we started looking for him around 6:15pm
We had good blood at the field edge where he went in and good blood through the woods. Was an easy track to follow.
Few minutes into the woods we found him. I didn't realize how big he was until I was up on top of him.