Sunday, October 7, 2007
It's Raining Acorns..
I haven’t hunted since opening day and really wanted to get in the woods. My opening day hunt was so short that I didn’t get my fill... I chose to stick with the stand overlooking the oak flat, the wind was good and the food source is still strong with acorns falling. I was settled in my stand by 6am, I have been having a bear of a time getting out of bed lately, those late night baby feedings are adding up...It was overcast with a strong smell of fall in the air. My stand is on the edge of an oak flat with a bridal path 10 yards behind me and a thicket and pine grove on the other side of the path. The thicket drops off into a marsh where majority of the deer spend their day. The oak flat is about 25 yards wide with a steep drop off into a wide gully with a small creek. I have broken views for 100 yards covering much of the gully and anything feeding in the oaks is within my range… By 6:30 I had shooting light and not long after I saw a doe moving in my direction, the deer like to walk along the steep slope and either drop into the gully or up into the flat. All I could see was her head and she was not alone as they came closer I could see flashes of antlers. Not long after I could see there were 5 deer including a small 6 pt and a nice 8 pt. The 8 pt had a box rack slightly wider than his ears and in my estimation a 110 class buck. The antlerless deer already were on the flat crunching acorns, I could see that at least 2 were button bucks. The bucks finally entered the flat...Now it was decision time..The 8 pt was really nice but there are much bigger bucks on the property, but I still had to fight off my urge to shoot this buck. He didn’t let me think about it long as he passed 20 yards away and walked off into the thicket behind me. He was followed a few minutes later by the 6 pt.If the larger buck fed in front of me for a few minutes, I would have probably shot him (weak willed)..I am already regretting letting him walk. I did the same last year with a nice 8 and never got another opportunity. The rest of the deer feed for about 15 minutes and eventually all followed the bucks. I spent the rest of the morning watching deer file in and out of the oaks and feeding on the acorns. At one point I see a deer about 80 yards in the gully; she was running in circles with her tail high. She was going all out, jumping logs and running in a big circle. Eventually she too came into the flat…By 9:30 I saw 16 deer, all within shooting range, but except for a handful of button bucks only the 2 racked deer. It was a great morning and as I was walking out the fog set in and the rain started...The bucks are safe until next Saturday...Hopefully my decision to pass on the 8 pt pays off….