Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

February 27, 2014

Another Log on the Fire: Highs and Lows

(Continued)

It was about two o’clock when I crossed the barbed wire fence skirting the west edge of the hardwood timber where I had a stand. I had entered the timber and began to sneak as quietly as possible to the south towards a ladder stand near a small pond in some open timber. As I crossed the last rise before reaching the stand I flushed several deer. I put the gun to my shoulder, but had no good shots and chose not to take a marginal one and spook them even worse. Hopefully one might come back as they didn’t scent me, and were alerted by sound only.

A few minutes later I was seated in the stand south wind in my face enjoying the smell of the forest on an unseasonably warm day watching a squirrel in his never ending effort to store up acorns for the winter. The otherwise natural sounds of the forest were interrupted regularly by some farm activity taking place off to the south that involved a lot of banging metal. Lost in a world of reflection I was interrupted by movement caught by my peripheral vision off to the east. Closer inspection revealed part of an antler sticking out of from beside a giant oak tree. My pulse began immediately to increase and I was launched into what would be a brief roller coaster ride that would become the story of this buck.

I could only get a good look at him by leaning forward or back, and felt there was no way he could get out from behind the tree without my seeing him, so I waited at the ready for him to step out, but couldn’t really see him. After a few minutes I leaned forward again to make sure he was still there and he was gone. I didn’t imagine him, he had really been there. I gave a few blasts on my deer call, and in an instant he was back. Off to the north east, moving my direction head up at attention.

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