October 21st, Matt and I headed out to a stand we scouted just before the season. None of us have sat in the location. We picked what we expect to be the perfect wind and both climbed the same tree. At daybreak, a flock of crows found an owl not far from us and went crazy. For no less than 30 minutes, we couldn't hardly hear each other talk as the crows scolded the owl. During this time, I spotted a deer coming down the hill toward us from the Southeast. I saw that it was a doe and shortly behind her, another doe appeared. They worked there way toward us and stopped at 40 yards. I could see they were getting antsy, and one flagged and trotted back up hill. A minute later, the second doe followed. We had a South wind at 5mph, but, with the air warming in the morning, and the wind being light, I could guess it was swirling some and the does picked it up. About an hour and a half later, a deer was heading our way from directly south of us. He ended up being a 3-point that offered multiple shot opportunities. I drew on him for practice and held for about a minute. In doing this, it helps me solidify my shot sequence when the opportunity presents itself. The buck fed on acorns at 12 yards for 15 minutes as Matt and I watched. He looked up at us a time or two and went back to feeding. He eventually turned around and retraced his original path as he left.
October 28th Matt was with his Dad muzzleloader hunting near Kansas. I stayed behind and hunted our usual areas with my bow. A cold front moved through and I knew the deer would be on their feet. The first hour and a half were uneventful and the tree rocking in the wind threatened to put me to sleep. Just after 9:00am, I heard something crashing through the woods heading toward me. 2 does explode from the scrub brush and into an opening 40 yards away, nervously looking behind them. I knew what to expect and had my bow ready. The does trotted another 30 yards to the East, but I was focused on where they'd come from. A few seconds pass, and I can make out a figure moving through the woods. A buck emerges on the same trail as the does, again, 40 yards away. He appears to be an 8 point, but slightly basket-racked. I'd imagine he was a two year old due to his size, build, and that he's chasing does early. The does continued off into the woods away from me while the buck finds some low hanging branches to thrash. I watched as he made a scrap, then I grunted at him. Even though he was marking his territory, he looked my way, then turned to follow the does. I grunted again, to no avail. 10 minutes later, I hear footsteps behind me. I turn and see a hunter attempting to "still-hunt" through the woods. I whistle at him and he stops. I wave to let him know I'm there and thankfully he turned around and disappeared the way he'd come. Another hour passes before I spot a doe moving to my Northwest. She eases by at about 45 yards and circles to my South without ever getting closer. As I'm watching her, I notice the same buck is about 80 yards behind her, but again, out of range. I grunted again, and he stops. After a few moments of glaring in my direction, I snort-wheeze. He's not impressed by this and follows the doe out of sight.
Matt successfully harvested a doe while muzzleloader hunting at 60 yards. No larger bucks presented him an opportunity. Mark, Matt's Dad, having already taken 2 does this year, was holding out for a buck. He saw several great bucks, but they were around 200 yards. The next day, he eased into the wood-line within 75 yards of where the bucks had been passing the previous 2 days. A few hours into his hunt, he caught movement in the woods and brought his binoculars up to check the size of the deer. He saw plenty of antler and prepared for the shot. The buck was in a hurry and was not going to slow down. Mark took care in his shot placement and pulled the trigger. The buck took off, but did not make it far before crashing. From looking at his teeth, he appears to be a great 2 year old, possibly a 3 year old.
The bucks are starting to move!