It’s called the “rut”. For the uninformed, that means the time of year when usually secretive and wary buck deer, following an urge to breed doe deer, drop their guard and follow receptive does everywhere. A song out of the old Broadman hymnal comes to mind during this time of year. Slightly paraphrased….”Wherever SHE Leads, I’ll Go”.
For this writer, that scenario played out this past weekend on Two Creeks, my Jackson Parish hunting club. SHE lured him out in to the opening in front of my stand, and I got him. Here’s how it all went down.
Earlier this season, I sat on one of my two deer stands, the one I call Three Mile (that’s exactly how far the stand is from our camp). Over the span of an hour, I watched 10 deer – does, yearlings and two small bucks – come out on my shooting lanes. Since I already had fresh venison in the freezer, I “shot” them with my camera.
The following Saturday, I elected to sit in another stand closer to the camp but after two hours of seeing nothing, I made the decision to relocate to where all the action was the week before.
Parking my truck and walking the last 300 or so yards to Three Mile, I climbed up onto the landing to the stand, opened the door while my rifle and pack were still on my back.
Glancing out the plexi-glass window on the front of the stand facing the most heavily used lane, I saw a buck 175 yards or so down the lane. Fortunately, he hadn’t seen me as he moseyed along the lane headed for a scrape at the edge. I’m trying to get my rifle and pack off my shoulder, huffing and puffing a bit from my climb into the stand. Before I could get settled, he leisurely walked off into the woods and was gone.
Fast forward to this past Saturday morning. When the alarm sounded at 4:00, I debated as to whether to hunt or crawl back in bed; the radar showed rain in the area with temperature 68 degrees. Since the annual rut takes place in this part of the state a week or so around Thanksgiving, warm rain or not, I opted to go hunting.
I parked and walked to my stand while a gentle rain was falling. Getting settled and cozy in the stand, I exchanged texts with a hunting partner, Mike Brister, to let him know I where I was hunting, and he did the same.
Not long after daylight, three deer – all does – stepped onto the lane, fed a bit and then walked off into the woods.
The next couple of hours were rather boring; the rain had stopped but nothing was happening. Brister messaged me that if he hadn’t seen anything, he was getting down from his stand at 9:00. I agreed to do the same.
Suddenly at around 8:45, two does burst across the lane at full speed. Something had obviously alarmed them and since the date was the last Saturday in November, I suspected what it may have been, so I got my rifle out the window expecting the buck that had been chasing them to step out.
At 8:55, he did and paused just long enough for me to realize he was very likely the same one I’d seen a week earlier. I dropped him where he stood.
I have been a member of this hunting club for at least 10 years, have taken a doe just about every year for the freezer, but had never shot a buck. I couldn’t have had my drought broken any better when contemplating the one lying at my feet. Sporting 8 points with a 17 inch inside spread, the deer bumped the scales at around 200 pounds.
This all happened because I was in the right place at the right time, thinking about the words of that old hymn….”Wherever SHE Leads, I’ll Go”.
Glynn Harris’ column is sponsored by D.C. Pawn of Minden