I feel as though I'm on the cusp of having my 'ah ha' moment but I continue to just stand a teeter on the edge. The learning curve has been steep and fun, to say the least.
This is first season attempting to put the pieces together on a beast style season. And so far, I've had a ton of success (at the beginning of the season, I decided to define "successful hunts" as those in which I am regularly seeing deer or learning vital pieces of information to help down the road.)
I had an early season (third week of Sept) encounter with two good bucks (a first for me. Prior to this year, I usually only got to watch good horns during the pre rut). This was after scouting and hunting a draw connecting to the main N/S hollar on this property. Both bucks worked a scrape on the edge of an interior overgrown field (very overgrown, cedars and autumn olive are taking it over). Circumstances didn't allow for a shot but I got to witness both bucks doing their thing for about 15 minutes that night.
Tossed a cam on the main access trail 1/2 mile or so away from that location in a spot that historically has a large community scrape.
Fast forward to the second week of October: both bucks hit the scrape about 10 minutes before dark. Two days later, they cruised by it in the middle of the night, traveling from the original field I saw them in.
Fast forward to last week: I was speed scouting for sign along the edge of the timber in a known travel corridor during the rut (located directly between camera and first sighting) and bumped one of the bucks. He was every bit of 400 yards further north than I ever thought Id see him bedded. That same afternoon, the wind was ripping and it was hot so I used it to my advantage. I slipped through the thick field, walking small game trails and keeping my eyes peeled, making my way towards some doe beds I had found last year. Sure enough, that big 8 was slowly cruising that field. I got within 40 yards of him and lost the stalk advantage. I hunkered down and grunted twice. He turned and came my way but slipped in and out of the cedars. I lost visual. I hunt tight. Day light was fading and I decided to reposition. So did he. He had button hooked me and came in directly behind me. He didn't wind me and didn't blow the area but he left.
Same conditions followed on the next night so I tested fate and repeated the same events. I didn't lay eyes on the buck so with 10 min left of light, I hunkered down with my down wind side in a cross wind and open area and rattled. The big 8 broke through the cedars at 60 yards and was on a mission to get down wind. I snorted, grunted. Nothing. He eventually got to my scent trail and boogied back the way he came.
This is his turf. I'm not actually sure I can beat him on it without relying 100% on luck. I've found two buck beds within 100 yards of the action. I'd say I've found myself right smack in the middle of his house.
How do I beat him???
If maps help, I'm happy to throw up some screen shots. I've learned so much from reading this forum and watching Dans videos. I'm sure I'll continue to figure things out as my camo gets a little more fade but until then, any pointers are welcomed!!
Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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