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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: 4D - valley of the bad wind
It's all about location so it's worth mentioning how this spot came to be. There is a creek bottom I ran cams on a few years ago. On the way out from picking them up (mid-October), a big buck jumped up with a doe between my buddy and I at 10 yards. I marked it on my gps and never returned until flintlock season two years later. Coming up from the bottom, we jumped deer all over just off the top. I counted 16 beds and I know we didn't find all of them. These deer were obviously stacked in there from pressure. This spot is not far (.6 miles) from the road just so nasty to get to. We went by where my buddy and I had previously jumped the buck and found big rubs within 50 yards. Same buck? Not likely but possible. Whatever the case, this small knob above the big flat seems to hold older bucks so the following year we went in to learn a bit about it. There's no real "edge" other than how a west wind would bump up against the knob and circle it. So I had picked a general area of 100ish yards on something to visit in the future. Fast forward to this season, with spotty acorns getting cleaned up by mid October, a bunch of bucks were all ending up in a couple clearings a 1/2 mile away. I saw a lot of bucks fighting while spotting. With the end of bow season closing in, we went in early and were able to get a 7 pt and doe out of the area that day. There was no other place I had in mind for rifle season. I had nothing else because other areas I had worked at for the year had dried up, or at least I couldn't put the pieces together. Although it only takes a second, I felt like doing the same thing over and over wouldn't produce better results. So I bought a double ladder stand mid November, carried it back thru the nasty laurel, sat it down and did more circles than I should have. Ended up 75 yards from where the buck was jumped all those years ago. Found a good rub line and set the stand up between the knob and the rubs. As the days passed, I got thinking about the setup and was kicking myself for not having the stand up higher on the knob, maybe 30 yards, but I wanted to see the flat in front better but it may cost me.
First day was a SSW wind which was really bad and with the nasty forecast, I decided to wait until Tuesday (WNW) to go to the double ladder. Tuesday came and I was able to follow my previous tracks back, thank goodness because I'd have been a sweaty pig trying to navigate it. I was all set at 6:15. Gusty winds and a bit of crusty snow layer kept me from thinking this was going to be the day. At 9:30 I saw a big body and found it to be a doe. A doe with a dinosaur nose, then another one. In front of them I saw a deer digging. Got the scope on him..I think it's the big 7. By the time I got the cross hairs centered, he laid down in the place he dug up. Completely gone, I had lost him. Does laid down then I lost one of them. So I watched for an hour and eventually stood up on the seat and was able to find a body in the laurel. Couldn't tell which end was which so I sat down for a cup of coffee. Up on the seat again, I could make out a neck, so I was making progress. Could not see the head but was sure it was the buck, but wondering, if I shoot and it's the one doe, I'm in some trouble, so be patient. More deer continued to filter in totaling 12. I stood up on the seat a couple more times trying to get a better look at this deer. 30 minutes later a shot across the bottom got the does nervous; they all stood up and started walking with the wind. They ended up all around me, I look up and there is the buck out of his bed starting to chase the one doe. I scoped him and said that's not the big 7; about a 15" inch 8 pt. He was gone in a second as he put his nose to the ground and started chasing. My split second decision to hold off cost me an opportunity but at a buck I just couldn't seem to get a good look at. With the wind and snow, I just couldn't tell. The doe all went up the knob and disappeared.
Ate some lunch and looked over at 12:30, there was the same buck, but this time he was facing me and about 10-15 yards closer, thought I saw a big brow. Could see he was wider than I previously thought. He turned broadside and I squeezed off. He ran about 75 yards and stood there swaying and fell over. I went down and saw it was indeed the 7 pt.
The fawn picture, the yellow dot is where he laid down. I could see vitals but couldn't be sure what deer it was. The red dot is where he came back to, and where I shot. Shot location was about 300 yards from cam pic.
It's a good spot. Just not today.