I went to Sam Houston this morning for my first deer hunt of the year. I did a 10 day trip to Colorado in October for elk so I've burned all my brownie points with the wife, so was happy to not get the stink eye when bringing up the plans, but just know if Im lucky I'll get one or two more mornings out there before Im pushing it at the household. I did not have a chance to scout my spots from last year so was a little nervous about what conditions would look like after a year. Got up my tree by 6am and after a few adjustments to the climbing stand figured I was in as good of a spot as I could be. The area had grown up a bunch over the year and I thought I'd end up doing some still-hunting by 9, but would hang out as long as I could. Weather was drizzling/light rain and high 40's low 50's, so just my kind of hunt. At 730 I spotted a doe moving pretty quick about 100 yards to my far right. I have a doe permit so couldn't believe my luck. She was moving, not eating, so no time for binoculars so I just stood up, leaned against the tree and got the scope on her. At 100 yards and moving through trees/debris/bushes Im not liking the fact I'm standing turned so far to my right on my climber, so I crouch to use my arm rest as a base and she disappears behind all the bushes she's moving through- so Im back to standing up. She's getting into the thick stuff now and Im only getting small beach ball sized areas to shoot through and those are running out so it's getting down to the wire. Right as she enters what seems to be the last of my clear shots, she slows, stops, and turns her head around. Now, we all know what we hope this means, but this is my last shot at her and what is likely 1 of maybe 3 mornings Im going to get to hunt this year and the way she was moving if I lift my head up to look behind her Im going to more than likely lose my shot at her. Well, Im not pushing my luck here, and after skunking out in Colorado, and last years deer meat all but gone, im not trying to get greedy so I decide Im taking her. Any public land deer is a great deer that Im going to be thrilled with. Just as I decide to take her, a branch I'd not noticed is right in the middle of my crosshairs, so there goes that idea. I lift my head up to see if there's a chance she'll enter another clearing within my range and glance behind her just briefly to push my luck and HOLYCRAP there's a buck cruising behind her 50 yards... This buck is moving, not running, but he's not slowing down to eat and has one thing on his mind and he's catching up to her. I can see a rack but he's not looking at me and since he's moving the same route she was there's again no time for binoculars to see his antlers. Heck, I dont even have time to zoom in the scope. Now it's crunch time. Im catching him as he works through the small clearings and finally he lifts his head up enough to see he's got a basket on him, so zero in on the shoulder and squeeze the trigger. He bucks and runs about 20 yards before disappearing into a thicket, but the bushes in there are thrashing so I know he's down.
It was a long 20 minute wait sitting in that climbing stand, but I finally get down and find him not far from my trail (lucky me). He's no Boone and Crockett, but he's one heck of a trophy for me. Now to see how I can sneak a euro mount into the house...
Thanks guys, couldnt be happier with him. It was an hour out of the way home, but I dropped him at the Bellville Meat Market based on numerous recommendations on this site. Will have him back for some stew on Thanksgiving.
Good job! Gotta love those hang and hunts. My condolences on sleeping on the couch for the next few months, but it was worth it!
"If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day, you have to go places quite out of the way. You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold, and you have to get wet, too." --Dr. Seuss