So I do only public land hunting for now. I go to a place around Lufkin, Texas. I went Thursday for 1/2 day (afternoon), Friday for 1/2 day (afternoon) and Sunday for a full day.
Thursday I get to my stand, and someone has stolen it!!! I know its public land, but it has been there for a while and the regulars look out for each other, and this time it got past everyone. Fortunately we know who it was, as they made a comment before they left to one of the other hunters a few days earlier they "found a stand," and they were the only ones back in the area I hunt. So after I got over being mad, I set up on the ground by a tree and made a makeshift ground blind out of brush, with no chair haha. About an hour later 2 Does walk in to my right and I could not turn to get a shot with my compound. After watching them for 15 mins they start to walk off (and at this point they were only 15 yards from my old tree stand with a clear shot!) so i tried to get to my knees slowly to turn to make a 30 yard shot, but one heard me and busted me and they took off. They came back 15 mins later but stayed in the same area. I thought I shifted enough to get a clean shot, but there was a small twig I did not see which my arrow clipped and off they went again; this time they did not return arrrg! I saw 2 more Does about 3 hours later , but they never came closer than 50 yards, and my ethical kill zone is only 40 yards, so I did not shoot.
Friday I drove back and got there around 12pm to set up for the afternoon. This time I came with a chair and burlap to complete my make shift ground blind. As I was walking in I jumped 2 deer int he brush, could not tell size or gender. About 20 mins later here walked in a spike, very young and small so I decided to pass, and he came within 20 yards and was just minding his business. I took the opportunity to test my blind and went to full draw on him, and he never spooked. I did not see anything else until about 4:30pm when two small does, maybe 1.5 years old came rolling in, but once again was just out of range. Even if in range they were small, but I may have been tempted at the larger of the two.
Saturday I had the kids while my wife was at work so we just watched it rain and watched the hunting channel while the kids played Mickey Mouse on their I pad and toys haha. Then wen to academy to spend a little money before mommy got home.
Sunday I arrived just before light, but I waited until light before I headed out due to all the rain, and still raining. This place tends to flood and I did not want to go walking into any soft spots through the slues while going to my spot. About 8:30am a group of what I thought was 2 does came to within 40 yards, but never cleared a cluster of brush. Because of the rain, I decided to try my luck at a possible stalk to get in a better position. So I got up and used the same cluster of brush as cover and kept it front. My plan was to get within 30 yards and slowly step into a clear lane, while they were looking the other way. Come to find out it was 4 does int eh group and the other 2 ended up being 20 yards to the left of them in a lane, and busted me! the whole group took off. HAHA If I would have only waited...
I saw one more deer about 80 yards away cruising by in the thick stuff but could never see what gender it was, and it never even turned at me. Then an hour later a decent 4 point came RUNNING in after I did a doe call and then a tending grunt set not even 3 mins after the call stopped. He came straight within 10 yards of me and then stopped. He was not an AR buck so I could not shoot. but was cool to see him responding this early.
HERE IS WHAT MAKES ME REALLY MAD AT MYSELF! So sine it worked for the 4 point I decided around 3:30pm to try the doe call, followed by clicks and a tending grunt again. Not even 2 mins after I see GOOD horns coming at a good pace through the thick stuff. THIS IS IT BABY!!!! Then jumped a down tree and came into my clearing looking for some action, and as soon as he made his way behind a small pile of brush I drew back. As he emerged he was only 30 yards away, and I saw it was a beautiful 8 point about 4 years old, awesome public land buck! I lined up, and made a small doe sound to get him to stop, and boom stopped. I released the arrow, and as the nock lit up so did my eyes, THIS IS IT!!!!! The arrow was right on target, and then THUD!!!! And the deer took off, and my nock went flying through the air! WTF just happend???? Dumfounded I walked over to the glowing light on the ground, that represented my glowing disappointment. It was only the nock? Where in my arrow? Did it hit the deer and the knock fell off? I walked over to where the deer was standing, and there it was, my arrow laughing at me!
I didn't notice but when I lined up there was a small 1.5" wide treeling right there, and I had thought the deer was behind the tree, NOPE the tree was right in the kill zone, and there was my arrow, dead center in the tree with the broadhead protruding out the other side. At this point I was cold, soaked from the non stop rain all day, and mad at myself for not seeing this tree in front of the deer...
I packed up and called it a weekend, and now I am sitting in my office dreaming about what coul dhave been!
I may not have brought anything home, but seeing 16 deer in 3 days (not even 3 full days) is my best for public land. I will be back at the end of the week!!!
Sorry for the long post but I needed to tell my story!
Below is the view I had in my spot.