Close Encounter

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SamPotter
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Close Encounter

Unread postby SamPotter » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:00 am

Sunday afternoon I snuck through a dry standing corn field to the west end of a hill in an overgrown pasture. I had a nice buck on trail camera there and hoped to see him. Because of the light NE wind, I suspected that if he was on that hill, he should be somewhere along the south side of the crest of the hill and along the western edge where the pasture meets the corn field.

I tried my best to ease through the crackly corn stalks, but I was sure I was making way too much noise. They were just so dry that the slightest touch produced sound and there was very little wind to camouflage my progress. But, after 500 yards of careful corn stalk navigation, I finally neared my the area that I wanted to set up. Suddenly I heard a loud noise. At first I thought it was a deer snorting but then I heard it again and it sounded more like a deer-sized animal sneezing or coughing, and it wasn't very far away.

Still 10 corn rows out from the edge of the field, I eyeballed a good sized white oak right in front of me that looked like a good prospect to hunt out of. It stood right on the edge of the corn field and overlooked the western edge of the overgrown pasture, so not having hunted this area before, it looked as good as anything. As I pussy-footed my way closer to the tree, I spied a large scrape under one of its overhanging branches. An old wooden fence post 10 feet away had been recently rubbed by a buck. Yes, this looked like a good spot indeed.

With utmost care I slowly ascended the tree, which had multiple limbs to use for climbing and/or standing on. I got about 15 feet up and decided I was at a good height that allowed multiple shot angles without much trimming, so I set up to hunt. It was probably about 6pm. Before long I saw some movement in the pasture to my east. A doe had just risen from her bed and was feeding. I put my range finder on her and was delighted to see I had successfully set up within 70 yards of a bedded doe.

At nearly the same moment, movement in my peripheral vision caught my attention: a very big, sneezing buck had just risen from his bed in the weeds directly in front of me in plain view! My rangefinder was still in my hand so I put it on him, 29 yards. "Are you frickin' kidding me?" I thought, or something similar.

There he was, the very buck I had here for. As he stood there sneezing away and pawing at the flies I quickly realized a few things. A) his sneezing was what I had heard when I was still in the corn field, B) I had snuck within easy bow range of a fully mature buck, climbed a tree, and got set up without him having a clue, and C) there was a 12" limb directly in front of me on the tree I was in that completely blocked any shot opportunity.

Because it was early and he was facing the direction I needed him to go in, I decided to wait and see what he would do. I pulled my cell phone out and shot a little grainy video of him while I waited. You can clearly see and hear him sneeze a few times in the video. I must have watched him at least 10-15 minutes. After a while I considered climbing higher in the tree, but realized he would probably see my movement now that he was standing. I though about going down the tree a bit, but again he would likely see movement and the reduced shot angle would cause more of the tall weeds to cover his vitals.

So, I just waited to see what he would do. Unfortunately, he ended up turning 180 degrees and started slowly walking away from me. I grunted at him several times, which caused him to stop and look. Meanwhile I tried to draw my bow, but couldn't even come to full draw because of the aforementioned limb. At that point he trotted off with his tail down, so I don't think he was overly spooked.

For at least a minute, I stared at the last place I saw him, thinking he'd magically reappear. The rest of the sit I kept replaying the whole encounter, trying to figure out what I could have done differently. Not much is what I finally decided. At least he wasn't particularly spooked and I gained a major confidence booster.

The first part of the attached video is the cell phone footage and then some trail camera footage from the previous week.


[bbvideo=425,350]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzLJahOWvk0[/bbvideo]


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jmaas07
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby jmaas07 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:18 am

Awesome encounter. I have heard that sneezing the last two hunts with the deer bedded close by. Wonder what it is that's causing them to do that, the sneezes were fairly frequent

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Jackson Marsh
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:33 am

Great encounter! I've heard the sneeze too.

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headgear
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby headgear » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:38 am

Cool encounter.
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:42 am

Awesome.
You must be part Injin:)

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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:40 am

That's flat out awesome right there.
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backstraps
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby backstraps » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:48 am

Awesome encounter, and congrats on such a cool hunt!!! Enjoyed reading your story, thanks

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SamPotter
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby SamPotter » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:51 am

jmaas07 wrote:Awesome encounter. I have heard that sneezing the last two hunts with the deer bedded close by. Wonder what it is that's causing them to do that, the sneezes were fairly frequent

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From what I could tell he was getting harassed by the same little gnats and black flies as I was.

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SamPotter
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby SamPotter » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:57 am

backstraps wrote:Awesome encounter, and congrats on such a cool hunt!!! Enjoyed reading your story, thanks

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Thanks-I'm definitely feeling like I accomplished something despite not getting my hands on him. I wish I could say I knew that bed was there, etc, etc.. I did hope he would be bedded in that general vicinity based on wind direction. I wasn't all that confident going in because that spot is almost at the head of a draw rather than out on the point of the hill, but it still offers everything a bedded buck could want.

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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby cbay » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:15 am

That was a great encounter! Had two does make the sneezing sounds on different occasions last year, had never noticed it before that.
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:24 am

:clap:

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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby Kokes » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:59 am

nice work sam great video. that dry corn sure is hard to stay quiet in on a calm day, keep up the good work
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jmaas07
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Re: Close Encounter

Unread postby jmaas07 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:10 am

SamPotter wrote:
jmaas07 wrote:Awesome encounter. I have heard that sneezing the last two hunts with the deer bedded close by. Wonder what it is that's causing them to do that, the sneezes were fairly frequent

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From what I could tell he was getting harassed by the same little gnats and black flies as I was.

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I was thinking bugs too but they weren't too bad by me both nights....the first sit on opening day the sneezing was quite frequent too

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