Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The reason we hunt

There's a million different things to see in the woods when one keeps their eyes open long enough. I'm lucky to say that I'm able to see quite an abundance of "everyday" wildlife durin' my time in the tree, be it deer, squirrels, rabbits, songbirds and waterfowl. Over the weekend though, I was treated to a few things that I don't get to see everyday.

The first was one of the purtiest gray foxes I've ever seen, and I regret that I was too preoccupied admirin' it that my video camera was a mere afterthought until he was well on his way outta sight.

The second was a first for me... a long-tailed weasel, already in its white winter coat. I've seen them in their normal dark brown coats before, but never in white. I was on the phone with Jake right after he shot at his buck, so I wasn't able to grab for my camera. He didn't stay in sight long, but it was a thrill to get to see him.

The third was a whitetail buck, but what made this one unique was the way he came roarin' in. I've never heard what the so-called deer experts call a "buck roar" until this heavy-framed seven-point came rollin' through, chasin' a doe and gruntin' loud enough to wake the dead.

He ran that poor doe all over the place, even through the middle of a small pond that was nearby. There was small spike buck trailin' the procession, I guess tryin' to learn the ropes of the rut. I didn't know what else to do, so I grabbed my grunt tube and gave a bellow of my own. Sure enough, the ol' buck  left that doe and stopped right in front of me about 45 yards, lookin' for the noisy intruder. Of course, the spike stopped 20 yards broadside in my shootin' lane, but the big boy stayed about 45 yards away in the thick stuff, just off the edge of the open woods.

For the next hour, we had ourselves a battle of wills, which I naturally lost when I ran outta daylight. I tried everythin' to get that buck into the open, to no avail. He stayed within 10 yards of where he had initially stopped. By the end of the encounter, my nerves were shot, and the wearin' off of adreniline had me freezin' my ass off. Regardless, it was one of the coolest deer encounters I've had to date, and reaffirms the reason why I love to hunt the rut.

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