I wanted to hunt the Oval Office just once this week. This is the stand I put the Obama mask on the decoy. I also saw a giant here last year and killed my heavy 8. The stand was very slow and there are cows in here this year so Kent has not been baiting or hunting it. I wanted to at least give it a shot so we headed there for the AM. Hunt.
At first light a buck was cruising up the tree belt. I turned and almost had a heart attack. He was a giant, and a shooter for anyone. I flipped on my video camera but could barely see the buck. The light was building and the wind was good. I made a conscious decision to hold off. Stupid.
The buck gave me a great angle, but I wanted more light (photo untouched)
After two minutes I decided I was playing with fire. This buck was awesome. Perhaps my best buck ever. I framed the video camera, slowly stood up and drew my bow. The buck had no idea any of this was going on.
Here the photo is lightened using PhotoShop. I was at full draw here waiting for a better angle. I did not like the slight quarter-to.
His angle was not bad, and I know a lot of guys will think I am nuts (maybe even me) but he was calm and so was I, and I was 100% confident he would eventually give me that broadside or slightly quartering away shot that minimizes risk. I was at full draw for at least a minute. Then a brief wind change brought a slight whiff to him and when he turned his head up to get a better wind he spotted me. I tried to stop him but it didn't work.
A slight breeze got his attention. He pegged me then left. I was just sick.
Three hours later at 10:20 AM I caught a glimpse of a deer coming toward me. It was him again! He tip-toed to the bait and came right in. But he was just too nervous to commit. He walked off. The wind was in the process of switching from NW to SW and SW is bad. The buck walked off calmly and 20 minutes later I saw him on the north side of a cattle fence, 300 yards to the north. Another buck was on the south side of the fence and they were trying to fight between the barbed wire. My big buck jumped the fence and the two bucks locked it up. Incredible! He chased the other buck off and jumped back over the fence before heading north to a plumb thicket.
Unfortunately the wind has shifted into the trees where the deer will come from. I called Kent and he got me out of there. The buck is slightly nervous but far from spooked. I may have a shot at him before this trip is over. We're going to hunt somewhere else tonight but I have a feeling I'll be coming back here tomorrow morning. Weather is calling for a North wind and that is perfect here. It's a crapshoot but I'm willing to gamble.
Jake Ensign took this great mainframe 10 with kickers! He made an awesome shot!
Monday Afternoon Hunt
After the AM hunt it was going to be hard to go to another stand. Kent and I agonized about it and actually drove to a couple of stands only to change our mind. I ultimately deferred to Kent's suggestion and ended up at Kent's tree belt. This is a stand that was always hot for everyone else but me. I have had very poor hunts here. Tonight was different.
A half hour after Kent drove away a really impressive 11 point buck came under my stand. In all honesty, if I had not seen the big buck this morning I would have shot him. But I am absolutely wrecked and I passed him up. I will probably regret it. He was a great buck, almost perfectly symetrical with good beams and lots of points. He just didn't come close to the buck I almost killed today. So I let him walk. I got some serious jazz back at camp when my buddies saw the video.
An hour later another 10 point with a broken brow showed up. This one was not a shooter for anyone. He was a 2.5 or 3.5 (maybe) buck with tremendous potential.
Shortly after he left a spike and a forky fought at the base of my tree. I was caught flat footed and by the time I got my video camera turned on it was over. I just had no idea that a spike and a forky could have a fight like that. I mean, dust flying, branches breaking, grunting up a storm - fight. Impressive, even if the bucks were not.
By the time it was dark I had one last buck show up. A small 8pt.