Christmas morning 2010. I love to hunt! I pursue deer and turkey. Hunting season begins here in October with an archery season. So I am usually in the woods on the first of October with my bow. 15 to 20 feet above the ground in a tree. (Not bad for someone who is afraid of heights). I hunted mainly out of one stand this year. I call it my “honey hole” so to speak. Most hunters have their favorite spot. The lock on stand, which I have on a red oak is in my favorite spot. It is close to where four different properties come to a corner with four different types of forest growth. I am located about 75 yards from this corner.
On opening morning I am in the stand a lil’ before daylight. Leaves are still on the trees and it is still green. It was cool that morning around 50 degrees with a slight north wind. I am facing north and looking at the intersection of these four tracts of land. There is a trail intersection that I have seen a lot of tracks and there are a few trees rubbed. After about an hour I turned to look back behind me and three does busted me. I guess they saw me move and the ran off. I waited another hour or so and called it a day. I like the early morning hunt as opposed to the evening. There is something about watching the world wake up in the woods. The birds are the first, then the squirrels start to move around. Sometimes I get to see a coyote or hear a pack of them in the distance. Three days later it was colder and the wind was right for me to ambush a deer coming through this funnel like area where the properties meet. I looked down under this big white oak (deer favorite fall food) and those three doe from opening morning were feeding on these acorns. I watched as they used their hooves to rake the leaves back and could hear them chomping on the white oak acorns. They looked to be close to the same age and were around 80 to 90 pounds I would guess. Before I raised my bow I heard a twig snap to my right and looked and saw two more sneaking in. I slowly raised my bow and had one at 20 yards directly in front of me. She was broad sided to me and I put my 20 yard pin on her front shoulder. I hit my release and I heard the arrow hit its mark. She jumped and mule kicked backwards and ran straight under my tree. She stopped behind me and just stood there. The three eating the acorns were still there and were getting nervous. Time seems to slow down when this happens. I reached in my quiver and the injured doe ran. She fell about forty yards from me and didn’t move. It was nine o’clock and I had my first deer of the season on the third day of the season. A hunter could not take a doe in Mississippi a few years ago, now it is encouraged to take a few to help the herd and get the buck to doe ratio closer to where it needs to be. You can take five deer in MS with three bucks included in your yearly quota.
My Bow, Truck, & Stand
I took two more does from the “honey hole” before gun season started. You can hunt with a gun on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. During bow season I saw a lot of deer from this spot and let a few small bucks walk on through without taking a shot. I try not to take a small buck under 8 points. I have and I may in the future, but I try to take larger buck if I can. Now I am afraid of heights and it is funny that I will climb a tree and get higher than corn to hunt deer. Deer have the best senses it the woods and are a nervous sort. This helps them to survive the hunt. Their sense of smell is amazing. Better than a tracking hound dog. I use the wind to give me a better chance of seeing deer in this area. A north or northwest wind is really the only way you can hunt this corner stand. However, if it is too windy, I can’t hunt up in a tree. I feel like I’m falling and I can’t be comfortable in the stand. I generally use a harness when I’m up in a stand and highly recommend everyone use all the safety devices one can employ.
As December approaches, the rut starts. The bucks start to chase doe and become overcome with the desire to mate. They kinda let their defenses down and move more during the day time. Deer are mostly nocturnal, especially bucks. I hadn’t seen a shooter buck all year, and was thinking I would get shut-out as I did last year. I am hunting on sixty acres that has been in my family since the 1940’s. Finding land one can hunt on is becoming scarce around these parts. Without the money for a big lease for some hunting property, I am stuck with the family land.
Christmas morning has come and I am going hunting with a co-worker of my wife’s. He is 20 years old and I have taken him a couple of times this year already. He did see a six point earlier in the year and I was proud of him for letting it walk to get bigger. It was cold this morning and I have a half a mile walk to the “honey hole” stand. I got up in the lock-on and got situated. I am now hunting with my 700 Remington .270 caliber. I can drive a tack at 250 yards with this rifle but I only have a hundred yards or so that I can see from this stand. I guess thirty minutes went by and I started to see better as first light was breaking. There is a time when the shadows give way even before the sun comes up. Its getting active. Birds start chirping and the now fallen leaves are rustling with squirrels. Over on the property next to me I see a doe trotting my way. She is moving pretty quick and is 50 yards from me before I knew it. I shouldered my rifle to look at her through the scope. I could see her very well and she looked to be about 100 pounds. Then over the hill behind her I see a set of horns, then the body of a nice deer. He is not a monster, but a shooter. Especially since I hadn’t taken a buck in two years. The doe turns and runs back towards him, then one eighties back to me and runs right under my stand in full trot. As if to draw him right to me ….she did as he trotted with his nose to the ground within 30 yards of me. Then he turned broad sided as if to say “here you go” ! I took the shot and he hit the ground like a sack of sand and didn’t move! Hey it was Christmas morning and by 7 am I had a buck on the ground. It was a nice present. He was an eight pointer. Not the biggest I had ever taken but he would do. My freezer is full now and I have enjoyed some nice back strap dinners and hind quarter roasts. Turkey season starts in just a few weeks!