Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MO Firearms Hunt 2010

Pete and I met in Macon, MO on Friday, November 12th for the start of the 2010 Missouri firearms opener. We woke up on Saturday morning to cloudy skies, temps around 30 and winds blowing from the south at +20 mph. I chose to hunt the beach set and Pete hunted the ridge top set on the south end of the property.

Things started quickly for me. around 7am I grunted with my VECtor call and followed it up with a couple bleats from The Can. Within minutes I had a nice 9pt standing 30 yards from my stand. Shortly after that I had a big doe and her mini walk down the draw to my left. After checking to make sure she there were no followers, I settled in and squeezed off the first shot of the MO season. I punched out ol' girls heart and she was dead 80 yards from the stand. I had a button buck come in around 9 AM and that was it for the morning. Pete had one young 8 pt under his stand and a face full of stiff wind to show for his morning sit. Below is a pic of doe #1.

The rest of Saturday's hunt was pretty slow. Pete sat in the "Poachers pond" set and I sat in the "Illinois Ladder" set. Pete got skunked other than turkeys and I had two yearlings come out of the draw to my left at last light. Both of the little guys feed to within 10 yards of my stand before I finally blew at them, so I could get back to the rig.

Sunday morning Pete choose to hunt a new set he hung earlier this summer. It’s located on the edge of a bedding area that has a natural funnel of timber on the west edge of the it. I hunted the "Bowl" set which is located in the bottom of a ridge that drops off a green field. At 9am Pete heard chasing from behind his set and turned to see 2 does getting dogged by a little forky. The forky pushed the lead doe inside 15yrds of the set before he was able to get her stopped. After the shot she only made it 20yrds before piling up and that is when the real action started.
The forky proceeded to grunt, gore, stomp, mount, and kick the downed doe for the next 2+ hours. Several other small bucks where drawn in by all the commotion and the little guy chased every one of them off… like he was the king of the woods. It was a pretty amazing encounter and some of the deer vocalizations Pete heard were very educational (those where Pete's words.....NERD!) and will be used in the future.

Around 10:45am a mini doe came onto the scene to investigate, so Pete made quick work of filling another antlerless tag. Even with another shot being fired within 35yards of the forky, he still wouldn’t leave the downed doe. The forky actually didn't run off until I walked over around 11:15am to help Pete sort out his girls.

Neither of us saw much movement Monday other than some does and small bucks. I did get to hammer a coyote at over 200 yards while hunting the "Perch" set, it's probably the best shot I have made to this point with a rifle.

On Tuesday Pete slid into a small 2 acre patch of timber that is located in the middle of a hay pasture. There is a small pond located inside the west edge of the timber and we figured deer would be hiding out in this sanctuary after the first couple days of the boom-stick season.
Pete set up south of the timber about 80yrds away from the pond in a row of hay bales the farmer keeps there. There was no movement early, but about 15 minutes before Pete was supposed to meet up with me to butcher our does, a spike crested the hill and ran into the west edge of the timber. As soon as the spike hit the timber edge Pete heard several deep aggressive grunts and the little guy turned and hightailed it back the way he came.

Pete grabbed his rifle and his VECtor, got the wind in my favor and started to sneak through the wood lot from the southeast. Pete was about 40 yards from the west edge of the lot when he spotted a small 8 pt and a spike bedded just below the pond dam. Pete gave them a couple of loud aggressive grunts on the VECtor and both deer came flying out their beds looking for a fight. The 8 point ran out into the pasture, raked some leaves and an overhanging tree limb, and was grunting like crazy. Pete hit him with two more grunts and the buck came charging back into the timber right at him. That’s when Pete heard the grunt he was waiting on. A huge bodied buck stood up out of his bed about 20yards north of the first two bucks. He had a small doe bedded with him and was not happy about all of the commotion being caused by the younger bucks.

The big buck charged both of the smaller bucks and chased them out into the pasture. Pete hit the VECtor a few more times and the big guy turned and headed back towards Pete and his doe. When the buck got back to the edge of the cover Pete hammered him with .06. Fatty didn't even want to hold it and he dropped right next to his original bed. He’s is the largest bodied whitetail Pete has ever killed in the Midwest, his neck measured 27 ½” after being caped out.

Tuesday night was a slow sit for us, but the weather report for Wednesday had Pete and I going to sleep with high hopes. We woke up to 29 degrees, NO WIND and clear skies. The weather report was also calling for a rain/snow mix to move in around noon.

Pete finally got the correct wind and was able to hunt the "North Ladder" set and I slipped back into the "Beach" set. We were settled in by 6am and waited for legal shooting time. Around 6:40am I thought I heard something moving through the bedding cover that sits about 80 yards to the east of the stand. This is the same area the 9 point came out of during the first morning sit. I watched the area for several minutes with my gun resting in my lap, but never picked up any movement. After several minutes of not seeing or hearing anything I sat back and relaxed a bit. I kept my gun resting in my lap because it felt like something was going to happen, I just had that feeling.Five minutes later I spotted a tall rack walking towards me from my left. I got my scope on the deers, so I could try and determine how big he was. After a couple minutes he finally turned and looked my way. I could tell he was tall, wide and pretty heavy. Ol' boy kept walking the edge of the creek bottom and when he was directly in front of my stand at 30 yards, I softly grunted at him and the buck actually grunted back at me. That's when I squeezed the trigger and hit him with a round out of the Soul Snatcher! The buck reared up on his back legs, spun around and just dropped in his tracks. Thirty minutes into the sit and I had killed my largest buck. That buck also put the finishing touch on our 2010 MO deer hunt.

We're already counting down the days until our 2011 Missouri hunting trip!

No comments: