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Let ’em Walk… For Now

December 9, 2013

I haven't seen this guy before.  The rut is bringing them out of the hills and canyons.

I haven’t seen this guy before. The rut is bringing them out of the hills and canyons.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a definite uptick in the number of bucks coming to the feeder.  I can attribute part of this to the fact that the acorns have pretty much fallen, and we had a lot of wet weather on top of them, so they’re already starting to rot.  Corn and protein pellets are looking pretty tasty to the critters again.

But also, it looks like the rut is finally about to kick off down here.  This latest cold snap can’t hurt to get things moving.  While the bucks still seem to be mostly moving solo, they’re seldom far behind the does… and the does are THICK.  I had ten deer out on the feeder the other evening, none of which had visible antlers.  Groups of five or six are a pretty common sight.  It’s a bachelor’s dream scenario.

For my own part, while I’m pretty stoked to see the bucks showing up (I haven’t seen them much since early season), I’m in no hurry to shoot one.  I put two does in the freezer already, so the meat supply is fine.  Unless I see something I really can’t resist, I’ll probably hold off.  Maybe I’ll finish one of the new stands in the woods after Christmas and try one with the bow.

 

This six pointer has been around off and on all season.  I missed him with the bow in September.  Now he's got Kat's name on him.

This six pointer has been around off and on all season. I missed him with the bow in September. Now he’s got Kat’s name on him.

But Kat hasn’t killed a buck yet, and this could be a great opportunity for her.  We set up in the blind yesterday evening, in hopes that one particular six-pointer would be around.  We’d also seen a couple of “new” bucks on the camera from a few days earlier… one of which was a pretty nice eight-pointer.  A more recent visitor didn’t give me the look I needed, but I’m fairly certain it is Funkhorn… and if not, it’s a near relation.

It was a lovely, cool day to watch the sun go down.  We slipped out to the blind a couple hours before sunset and settled in for the wait.  The deer had been showing up reasonably early, but the overcast and cold had given way to a sunny afternoon.  Nothing except doves, jays, and squirrels were moving in the woods.  There’s a major flight of doves right now, by the way, but they’re safe until the 20th when the season re-opens.  Sparrows kept popping into the open window of the blind, apparently looking for a good place for a winter nest.  It was entertaining, but sometimes startling when they’d just flit right in out of nowhere.

Finally, as we wound into the last 45 minutes of shooting light, a little group of does and yearlings wandered across the pasture and started to feed.  Kat scoped each one, declaring that she could make a clean kill on every deer in the group… but she was holding out for the bucks.

The deer fed for a while, and then filed back out to the horse pasture.  At one point, they must have passed within a few yards of the blind.  A couple more does showed up next and hung around until almost dark.  The bucks never showed.  I kept waiting for Kat to change her mind and decide to just take a doe, but it never happened, despite the temptation of some amazing shot opportunities.

Is this Funkhorn?  I haven't seen him all year, but this definitely could be.

Is this Funkhorn? I haven’t seen him all year, but this definitely could be.

We probably won’t get another chance before the holidays, as we’ve got some travel plans that will keep us out of the woods for the next few weeks.  Hopefully, the big boys will still be around when we get back, and Kat can add a whitetail buck to her hunting achievements log… and one more pile of meat to our annual supply.

 

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One Response to “Let ’em Walk… For Now”

  1. Let ‘em Walk… For Now | AllHunt.com on December 9th, 2013 16:31

    […] Let ‘em Walk… For Now […]

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