The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Outdoors

November 23, 2013

Getting closer to that elusive 10-point buck

CAMERON — I’ve been spending as much time as I can deer hunting since the rut has kicked in. It’s been a chess match waiting for the deer to make the next move. Up until a couple weeks ago, the deer — even the bucks — have been more concerned with feeding in the fields due to the lack of mast in the woods.

My one stand located on a point overlooking a big field bottom has been the place to be. I’ve seen several deer every time I’ve hunted there but they have all been well out of bow range. From the time I climb in until it’s too dark to see, the deer have been feeding like cows in the field.

The bucks will nudge the occasional doe, but really haven’t been chasing after them. My plan has been to sit back and wait for the rut to kick in and a hot doe to bring the 10-point I’m after close enough for a shot. Last week, I thought for sure I was finally going to get that opportunity.

On the way to the farm I noticed the deer were moving and already in the fields during the mid-day. I hurried and made it to my stand around 3 p.m. but it took me awhile to climb in. There were five deer within 50 to 60 yards below the point so I had to really take my time. I made it and have no idea how those deer didn’t see me.

I settled in and continued to watch the deer below me. A couple of them were bedded down and they eventually got up and started feeding toward me. All of a sudden I looked down and another bigger bodied deer had stepped out. I raised the binoculars and it was him — the 10-point I’m after.

It was only 4 p.m. and I knew I had plenty of time before dark. By then I had a doe not 20 yards to my left and 2 more 35-40 yards to my right. The big buck was only 60 yards below, where the deer originally were when I climbed in.

They all were just feeding contently and, more importantly, were calm. The big buck would look up toward the does as they were between him and me. I thought for sure he would eventually work his way up the way the does did.

I kept my eye on the big buck the whole time, just waiting for him to make his move. It also gave me the chance to get a closer look at his impressive set of antlers. His left brow tine is long and bladed, and at the top has a small fork. There’s a small kicker point on his left g2, as well. I hadn’t been this close to this particular buck since I shot him last year.

I surprisingly remained fairly calm while I patiently waited with my bow in hand. A good half hour had passed without the deer moving much. Then, the inevitable happened. The doe to my left quickly jumped over the hill.

I looked to my right and the two does and big buck were glaring in my direction but kind of looking behind me. I froze and made sure not to move as I wondered what caught their attention. A couple of tense minutes went by before the deer couldn’t stand it any longer and took off.

Deer were running in every direction as the field cleared. There was a skiff of snow on so I could see them running for a long ways and they weren’t stopping. I turned my head to see what was behind me, immediately thinking it was either a bear or a coyote. To my surprise and amazement, nine gobblers walked right underneath my stand and down into the field bottom. All of them had at least 8- to 10-inch beards dangling from them. (Of course, I see them now instead of during spring gobbler season.)

All I could do was shake my head the rest of the evening and mutter a few choice words toward the intruding gobblers. I’m not sure why those deer were so spooked of turkeys, unless they just heard the noise and saw black and assumed they was bears. That’s all I can think of, but who knows?

Stupid turkeys.

I’m just going to keep hanging in there and hope for better luck. The silent woods of bow season are over, unless you’re hunting in one of the four bow hunting-only counties, and the guns will start cracking at daylight. Stay safe, have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the West Virginia outdoors this buck season.

1
Text Only
Outdoors
  • Some books for the rest of summer

    Stretching out in a hammock with a good book is a great way to relax on a warm summer afternoon. Here are a few titles that have recently caught my eye.

    July 27, 2014

  • Creating a week to remember

    After my traveling shoes were placed neatly beside the door, it was time to spend some much needed time around home.

    July 27, 2014

  • There are some changes on the way

    Hunters who have found themselves driving out of their way to check in a deer, turkey, or bear will no longer have to waste the time or gas starting in 2015. 

    July 27, 2014

  • The cure for the summertime blues: Go camping

    In case you haven’t noticed we are looking right down the gun barrel at winding down on another summer.

    July 26, 2014

  • 071714 Coda and Callie.jpg Coda and Callie’s excellent adventure

    How is it something that you profess to love so much can cause you so much anxiety and grief? No, I’m not talking about dealing with your children (or your spouse). This is worse. This is about dogs. More specifically, hunting dogs. 

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071314 Chris Ellis.jpg DNR’s ‘outdoor summer school’

    Attention all West Virginia hunters and trappers. It is once again time for outdoor summer school and the course materials are hot off the presses.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Eurasian collared-dove

    Back in 1974 a local pigeon fancier imported a flock of about 50 Eurasian collared-doves to the Bahamas. Ultimately he released the birds, and they took to living in the West Indies. By the late 1970s some had reached south Florida, and by the late 1980s, some had been seen in Georgia and Arkansas.

    July 13, 2014

  • July in W.Va.: Recreational opportunities abound

    It’s July in the West Virginia mountains, which brings vibrant orange tiger lilies, blooming rhododendron, and of course fireworks. Usually the heat and humidity is in full force, but so far the weather has been nice.

    July 13, 2014

  • Shotgun 101: Shoot more and live better

    “God is not on the side of big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.”
    — Voltaire

    July 9, 2014

  • Fireflies are living lights

    At recent Fourth of July fireworks displays, spectators squealed with delight at the annual spectacle that illuminated the night sky. And I’m sure more than a few compared the spectacular pyrotechnics to the subtler displays of fireflies that punctuate backyards, parks, and campgrounds all summer long. We call these displays “nature’s fireworks.”

    July 5, 2014

Web Special Sections
  • Special Web Sections

    Click HERE for stories about natural gas and Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    Click HERE for stories about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

    Click HERE for stories about the passing of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

    Click HERE for stories from The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.

    August 6, 2010

Helium debate
Helium
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA