Deer always amaze me. They are such smart and unpredictable creatures. The Rut often is the only time the big bucks make a mistake. They are so focused on chasing does that they let down their guard.
After scouting my bow hunting area, I placed my tree stand perfectly. Last year, the bigger bucks stayed higher on the hill where I was hunting. My stand was set in the bottom, next to the stream. The bank was narrow and acted as a natural choke point. The sign, rubs, and scrapes confirmed my plan.
I sat in this “hot spot” for several days during the Rut and allowed dozens of does and small bucks pass. The Big bucks were above me and out of range. Scents, rattling, and calling would not bring them closer.
This season, I adjusted to match that behavior. For 4 mornings, I watched a different pair of bucks chase does past my old stand site. No decent bucks were near my “Old Hot Spot”.
It was time to adjust my strategy again. I placed a stand right at the stream crossing where the action was. Surely after 4 consecutive days of consistent behavior, day 5 would pay off. The stand fit nicely onto a HUGE poplar with a secondary trunk. The ladder stand nuzzled onto the trunks perfectly. As I tried to tighten the ratchet strap, it broke. This meant that I would need to hazard a stand set in the early morning darkness. Everything was set to allow me to safely add the strap in the morning.
The plan was perfect. A short walk off the bank would put me at the stand quietly and with minimal scent. My new strap attached quickly and I was ready to hunt. A weather front was coming and the morning seemed to be a perfect day to hunt the rut.
At daylight, I saw a small buck cross downstream from my site. If he turns right, into the wind, he would be in my lap. He turned left. Later, an eagle flew by carrying a fish. At least he was having better luck. Several squirrels and other small critters came by, but no deer. I sat until noon. So much for the perfect plan.
I am planning to visit the stand again. Perhaps my luck will change. It is just amazing how deer can become so unpredictable. I guess that is why they call it hunting.
Hunt hard, hunt smart, hunt safe!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com