Well, some of you have followed the live threads and they finally produced something
For those that didn't follow it, figure I would post it up with a short version of the ones that just like pictures.
My father came up last weekend and called and said it was time to go, rut was on. He hunts an hour north of me and killed a good buck this morning. Anyway, I had a couple of projects I was closing up and ran into a few issues that held me a little longer than I expected. I wasn't able to cut loose until Thursday night.
I drove straight to the property to chum a few spots and pull the cards. When I pulled the cards, the nicest buck was a 7 pointer and so I set my sights on him. We tried to kill him last year and he beat us, so figured it would be fun to chase him around. I had pictures at three sets; one on the East side, one in the middle and one on the West side...so narrowing it down was going to be difficult. With the rut about to kick into full swing, there really was no telling where he was going to be. Cameras weren't showing much activity anywhere and few deer, so I was a little deflated. Our place typically has a good number of deer, but between the cameras and not seeing any deer in the fields when I drove in, I was a little worried.
I chose the tripod, mainly because of the wind and it just seemed like a good starting point. I got in the stand pretty early and the second deer to come out in the full moon was the deer I was after. He was following a doe and didn't stick around for daylight, but when he left, he headed West. Ended up having 20 or so bucks and doe wander by and had a buck bed in the creek about 30 yards away. Overall good hunt with plenty of activity. Weather was showing a shift in the wind to the SW which really isn't great for any of the stands. Since the buck I was after went to the West, that is the stand I chose.
I read on here a few days ago about vanilla scent. I can't remember ever buying or using a product or gimmick, but I was suckered into this one. Wind was marginal and would cut off the path I expected the deer to leave in. Didn't want the doe to leave and blow before the bucks got up and moving...so went to walmart and bought a vanilla scented buck bomb. Sprayed down the inside and the outside of the pop-up and settled in.
First deer to come in was a spike and he came from the direction I expected them to leave in. He blew, stomped a second, started to run...then circled back in. He ended up coming in for a closer inspection. It was like he couldn't figure out what he was smelling. I was shocked, he came in and started feeding and brought 3 other bucks in with him. Didn't take long for the doe to start moving and when they did, it turned to chaos. I couldn't count the deer but would guess between 20 and 25. Had one mature eight pointer that ruled the area and the younger bucks took the left overs.
I had settled back in my chair to watch the show and the deer started to disperse. Figured the hunt was about to come to an end as the deer were headed to the fields. I still had 6-7 deer in front of me and all their heads popped up at the same time looking North. I don't know why, but I just knew this was my 7. He came barreling down off a hill out of the brush, crossed my opening and went straight to the eight and backed him off. He then went to the doe the eight was trailing and checked her. I thought they were going to head on down the ridge which would mean I wasn't going to get a shot. I was scoping out the ridge to see if there was a clearing when he seemed to loose interest. He went back down to my clearing to check the doe there and that was his last mistake.
I really never had a chance to look at his antlers, just knew this was my deer and I was shooting. I took a quick second to calm my nerves a little, picked my spot and let it fly. He ran up the same hill he came from and stopped in about 30 yards in the brush. I was pretty sure I saw him fall and a few minutes later, it looked like he made a final lunge. I waited it out for about 30-40 minutes, crept out the back of the stand and headed to the truck. I had already texted the other guys hunting and they were headed my way. We went in, found the arrow, found the blood and followed it the 30 yards. You could see where he fell, and where he lunged, but he wasn't there...my heart sank a little but the blood was good. An easy 30 yard tracking job and we found him. Can't get over the body size on these deer and figured out I can't judge antler size on these deer.
After some high fives and smiles, we took some pictures and loaded him up. Best part was he circled out of the woods to the edge of the field and I could back the truck right up to him. This deer is my personal best with a bow and I am dang proud of him..even if he is only a 7
...Now for the pictures.
Here he was last year...
And the TC from this year
Here are a few pics we took. The last one shows the mass a little better.