I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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bowmike
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I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby bowmike » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:26 am

I had a member of another forum who was having a rough time in the hill country he was hunting. I asked him to send me a topo map. I broke it down per the knowledge I learned on this site and the Hill country bucks dvd, told him what winds to hunt what spots.

I got a message yesterday that he got a nice 7 point hunting one of the locations I picked out. Hoping it was the one that I circled in red LOL Still waiting on the full story and pics, but it builds your confidence knowing you can look at a map from someplace you have never been, 100 miles away, and put people on deer. THANK YOU HUNTING BEAST!

So lets talk about my season. I hunt some really heavy hunted public land in SWPA. I am talking seeing 19 guys before lunch in rifle season back before my use of a climber and beast type knowledge. I took a doe on the 10th that was pretty big and really set me up to be able to hold out for a nice buck.

I had been after a buck that you guys may have read in the "he's on to me thread". He is about a 125" 11 point with a split brow tine. I waited for the planets to align to hunt him. He came in right under me while I was late setting up. Had him at 2 yards. Was in shooting light though. I tried to get turned around and my broad head got stuck on a hemlock branch.

Friday I went to a spot that looked perfect for me. I laid out the area I wanted to hunt with my topo app, had the right wind for thermals and such. I walked in with the wind in my face. I got about 3/4 of the way climbed up and had a buck walk right under me. I snuck my light through my closed fingers and he was about 115". He worked his way right up to the point. No shooting light so I just left everything a lone. I tried rattling and such but could not bring him back, he looked to be scent trailing a doe. Still pumped to chalk another big buck encounter up for the year.

Saturday was my best day ever. I had anxiety the night before and my wife was laughing at me for being so worked up about the wind. It was one of those off winds that no matter where you look on your map you cant buy a bucket for one that will work. Even checked a few areas that I never even been on, and just could not be happy about setting up. I decided that I would just have my wife pick a number and hunt the spot she chose. The wind was all wrong for the spot, but I figured that with the rut kicking in you just never know where they can come from. I had severe anxiety over setting up and knew I would be busted if they came from above me. I put on extra scent killer to help ease my mind, all be it that is all it was good for. ;)

Well at around 7:30 I hear a big heavy steps coming my way from below me, branches breaking, and everything after a short calling sequence of some grunts and a can call or two mixed in. I look behind me "up wind" (it really kills me to type that!!) and see a nice 120" or so 8 or nine point walking in the woods, his direction of travel will not offer me a shot. I decide I would give him a grunt and see if I could get him to come in. I grunt to him and he immediately gets all bristled up, and throws his ears back, and makes a scrape right there. I am getting pumped as any time I have had a deer respond to my calling I typically can bring them right in. Notice I said a deer and not a big buck. ;) He is thrashing branches so I grunt at him again.

"TSSSSS TSSSSS TSSSSSSSSSSSSSS" He snort weezes back and walks back and fourth posturing for about 5 minutes. I am shaking right now as this would be my biggest buck ever. He then walks to about 50 yards in a thicket and just hangs up like a gobbler in the spring. He is licking his nose franticly to try and smell the deer he is hearing. I try to get him even more worked up and decide one last call sequence before I just shut up like hunting a gobbler.

I do a long breeding grunt and mix in the can call. This really floors him and he is tearing up the woods but will not commit. I decide I would just shut up, and never heard from that deer again. Wow i was thinking this was a done deal. Could there be bigger buck in the area that put him in his place before or something? No way that was one of the biggest bucks on the mountain. I decide to wait about 15 minutes and would do a rattle sequence to see if maybe he calmed down and would come back in to that.

I rattled and about 3-5 min later I hear something above me. AW man, if this deer comes in where I think it will I know ill be busted. I thought about it and decided to take the gamble. I doused myself with scent killer before coming in, but knew it was only to help ease my mind. I had no clue what the buck was that was above me in the thicket.

I give three grunts and all I see is antler charging in from the brush above. I was already standing and in position. The buck stops at about 50 yards in a clearing that i could see him. Easily the biggest buck I have ever called, in and probably the biggest I have ever seen in the chunk of public land I am hunting. He paused and I could see his huge roughly 140" thick heavy rack and long tall brow tines. I grunt at him again, and he instantly postures up and folds his ears back.

In my mind I think "Is this really happening". I then got he cold neck feeling and knew I was going to be busted. I was praying "Please don't let him bust me, please don't let him bust me, please don't let him bust me" I am watching my all out dream buck walking in closer and closer stiff legged. "If he walks 10 yards to the right he is not going to smell me, and will give me a 10 yard shot"

The buck never made the turn. I saw him lick his nose and when he got where my wind was blowing, instantly locks up, hair gos flat, ear go up high, he instantly looks up. Now he could not see me as I had hemlock covering me. But his first instinct was to look up. He only stopped for about 2 seconds. Hopped around 180 degrees without making a sound and walks off slowly like a bobcat sneaking up on a grouse. Pretty much saying "Ok cowboy, this ain't my first rodeo"

I grunted at him one more time, he stopped for 3 seconds and looked back and vanished like a ghost into the thicket.

I can not type the word that came out of my mouth but you can subtract a few letters from the work firetruck you can figure it out. I sat back in my stand bow in my lap, just flabbergasted. I knew that hunting this spot was iffy, but decided to go in anyway. I paid for it, as who knows if that buck will ever come in to calling or even set fourth in that area again. But man talk about adrenaline. Seeing that buck coming in was the most amazing experience of my life. But watching his reaction when he caught my scent blew my mind. No stomping, no snorting, no head bobbing, Just an all out Seal Team 6 maneuver, to get out of there as quietly, as he could to go undetected. Simply jaw dropping!

Even though I haven't connect on one of the big boys I am after, and just can't seem to seal the deal. I am so happy with how my season has went so far. I was short on time and hunted as smart as I could, Saturday was the first day I set up and did not feel confident in my wind, and I saw what happened there. I practice sound "scent control" change in the woods, wash clothes regularly, use scent killer dryer sheets, spray down before I enter the woods, and really it doesn't matter. LOL I did not get busted because of my wind all season.

Not many people in my area even see these bucks in day light, so that is a plus and really makes me happy. I give a ton of credit to you guys for helping me really grow as a hunter. I don't think I can ever shoot a little buck with my bow again. Just seeing what these guys can turn into is just jaw dropping. I have seen deer on day that I hunted. I haven't seen a ton of deer, but I am thinking it is a sign of what happens when you switch to going after mature bucks.

I honestly feel like a mature buck is nearly a completely different animal. That deer smelled me and instantly looked up. How many hunters have whiffed on this deer in the past , and he can now add a tally mark for him busting me, to the chalkboard he keeps in his bedding area. How many near death experiences had he been through. How many times did he bust me without me even knowing.

The season could end tomorrow and I would still be happy. My skills as a hunter have improved 10 fold in the last 3 years. It is not always about the kill, but I had a shot at my #1 hunting bucket list of killing a 130" buck or better with my bow on the public land I hunt. That in itself is an accomplishment for me. I have one more day to try and get it done with my bow, then 2 Saturdays to go at them in rifle season. After that I hang up deer hunting and eat tag soup if need be to get my lab out on grouse.
Last edited by bowmike on Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.


NEXT YEAR I' HOLDING OUT FOR A BIG ONE!!
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby wmihunter » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:35 am

I am in a similar boat. I know its cliche but at least u r in the game! It will all come together. Those are some cool encounters!

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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby Stanley » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:05 am

Sometimes we try so hard we get into the way of ourselves. We all do things much in the same way. Doing those things under less duress makes a huge difference. You gotta get your sea legs so you are more comfortable under pressure. Consistent big buck killers have experienced the pressure and most can preform better than those with no experience.

Just because one guy makes it look easy doesn't mean it is easy for all. Example; 30 years ago I bought an overhead crane for the Rock Island . The crane was installed and the installer and I took it for a test run. The crane quit about half way down the rail. The only way back was to walk the rail which is 50 feet above the forge shop.

The service guy took off and walked the rail like it was a sidewalk on the street. I walked that rail like a little girl. I was very glad to get back to the cat walk. You gotta pay your dues. Time in the stand is how you do that.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby dan » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:11 am

You gotta pay your dues. Time in the stand is how you do that.
I agree...
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby oldrank » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:18 am

I understand the feeling.. It seems like im always one step behind the big ones. I can on em..but cant get close enough..or a tree is in the way..or he turns at the last second..or catches my wind ect ect ect.. There was a thread about being lucky or good when it comes to hunting big bucks.. I sure dont have any luck but i sure aint good at it either. 30 yrs of it u would think id stumble on to one but it doesnt work that way.

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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby mag1 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:24 am

You guys sound like me. :) glad to know I am not alone. Great point Stan.

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bowmike
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby bowmike » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:29 am

I am an engineer by profession, and there is always an answer, or always something you can do to achieve the desired outcome, with hunting big bucks, there is nothing guaranteed, nothing you can do to guarantee success, you can do things to increase your odds, but no matter what they are smarter than you think. LOL

I felt as though I was calm when that monster was coming in as it happened fast, but nothing could have stopped him from circling down wind. Maybe a decoy but I think that he has been through and seen it all. I feel lucky I even got him to come in with rattling to be honest. :?
NEXT YEAR I' HOLDING OUT FOR A BIG ONE!!
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:41 am

To me those encounters are what keep you prepared and learning. Your walking the walk and talking the talk and to us beast guys your proving it to yourself by having those mature buck encounters. Hard work pays off and time on the stand is how it gets done.

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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:01 am

I can relate to this thread. Over the years I have been blessed with many true giant buck encounters but closing the deal on them has been a bit of a struggle. My biggest issues have been bad shot angle, not having a clear shot due to thick brush or hanging up just out of shooting range. If we are on these bucks every year that is the first step for being succesful. All we can do is keep at it and eventually the odds will swing in our favor. When bucks reach that caliber we are dealing with a totally different level of deer species it seems. They are at the top of their game and it's up to us to eliminate past mistakes to up our odds on them in the future.

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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby WSalzNC » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:10 am

bowmike wrote:I am an engineer by profession, and there is always an answer, or always something you can do to achieve the desired outcome, with hunting big bucks, there is nothing guaranteed, nothing you can do to guarantee success, you can do things to increase your odds, but no matter what they are smarter than you think. LOL

I felt as though I was calm when that monster was coming in as it happened fast, but nothing could have stopped him from circling down wind. Maybe a decoy but I think that he has been through and seen it all. I feel lucky I even got him to come in with rattling to be honest. :?


I totally understand where you're coming from. I am a 'control enthusiast.' In my industry its pretty commonplace to think that, with enough analysis, strategy setting, and execution, that any outcome is achievable 100% of the time. I approach most of my life the same way, and occasionally suffer from 'analysis paralysis.' I have found that outcomes certainly are achievable, but chance and luck do have their place in success-- being in the right place at the right time, etc. What helps me is 'surrendering' to the situation, the reality that I am presented with. Sometimes I do my absolute very best and chance still goes against me. I can either fight it and be miserable, or I can surrender to the situation and leave with a smile.

Someone much wiser than me likes to tell me, "You're right where you're supposed to be." I usually dislike hearing this, but its true. Most growth comes from making mistakes, struggling, asking questions. Killing mature deer is hard! You're right where you're supposed to be.
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby mheichelbech » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:32 am

Your in the deer so you are at least doing the most important thing right!

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"One of the chief attractions of the life of the wilderness is its rugged and stalwart democracy; there every man stands for what he actually is and can show himself to be." — Theodore Roosevelt, 1893
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Re: I guess I can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk

Unread postby headgear » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:48 am

I say great encounter and hunt, one you will remember forever. Not many can walk the walk on heavily hunted public land on a consistent basis, the list even on this website would be very short. Just keep after it and do your best, learn from every hunt and keep after them.


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