Nick, Greg, and I braved the 25-35mph northwest winds Sunday night and headed to "The Winery" for a late season evening hunt. Greg set up in second field, Nick set up on the edge of the bedding cover and main field, and I hung a new set in the southeast corner of the bedding area.
I jumped five does walking in, but they just moved off into the cover without much fuss and we were all settled in by 3pm. The wind was blasting us all night and we all thought movement was going to be pretty slow...we couldn't have been more wrong! Just before 5pm Nick sent a text that several does were running around the big field and a few minutes later deer starting pouring out of the bedding cover. I had 22 deer filter by my new set during the last half hour of shooting time. They were all well inside bow range, but they stayed in the thick cover to my left which offered me zero shooting opportunities. Nick was also covered up with deer and around 5:20pm a nice buck popped out onto the field. A few grunts from the VECtor and the buck was bee-lining to Nick's stand. He worked into 10 yards but was facing the stand and didn't offer a clean kill shot. After a few minutes of staring down Nick the buck turned and headed back towards the thick stuff. He stopped briefly about 20 yards out and Nick took advantage of his mistake and slipped an arrow into him. Nick knew he hit him, but with the low light and not being positive about where the arrow connected we decided to wait until the morning to start tracking him.
Greg and I headed back out for a morning sit and Nick was going to meet us at 9:30am. The wind hadn't really let up much and it made for the coldest sit of the season for us!!! I was beyond ready to get down by the time 9:30am got here and I think Greg shared my excitement once he wasn't sitting 20ft. up a tree...
Fellow MissouriWhitetails.com member and MO Conservation Officer Vince (VECtor Game Call Owner) also showed up and he brought his silver lab Goose along to help with the tracking job. We found Nick's arrow right off the bat and it was covered in good blood and we all thought it would be a short tracking job....we were wrong again. The buck headed straight into the thick bedding area that consisted of chest high grass, cedar trees, and more poison ivy than I've ever seen. It was pretty slow going and Goose was having trouble cutting the trail. We slowly picked our way along the blood trail heading to the northeast. About ninety minutes into the tracking job Vince took Goose upwind of us about 80yrds. As soon as Goose got the wind in her face, her nose went up and she brought Vince right to the buck. Nick's shot was good, but just a touch back and it exited through the guts on the off side. The buck was dead within minutes of Nick shooting him, but after seeing the blood trail and how slow going it was in the daylight we definitely made the right call letting him sit and waiting until the morning to track him.
The 2011 season has been amazing so far and we still have a couple weeks left! I can't thank Nick and Greg enough for allowing me to hunt with them this year. I just met these guys over the summer at an MWT event and in sort order they have become very close friends and hunting partners and I'm looking forward to many more seasons of hunting with them!
The second portion of MO's youth deer season kicks off Saturday morning and Scott and Logan are coming down for it. I'm hoping we'll be able to post up Logan's first deer story early next week, so if the deer god's are listen "send a couple our way this weekend"