Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just like you

I'm just like you ... well, maybe a little.

I hit the deer woods every bow season. Pound the corn rows. Every once and awhile I might take a decent buck.

But nothing that really stands out, or defines my prowess as a bow hunter.

I'm no Bill Winke, Greg Miller or the like, armed with high-caliber whitetail knowlege.

That giant Boone & Crockett buck may never come -- although that won't keep me from trying or believing I'll get there someday.

Often, bragging rights among my fellow deer hunting brethren is enough of a challenge to keep me fueled up. But it seems no matter how well I do, my pal, Walt of Ingham County, Mich., always tops my buck with a better one.

And when another juked deer hunting friend of mine, Mike of Mercer County, Pa., was still alive he too would beat my best efforts.

Nevertheless, I thought I was set up pretty well for the rut this season.

I placed a ladder stand in the vicinity of a nice buck I've been after for two years on the Sanilac County farm I have the awesome privilege to hunt.

On Oct. 25, I glassed seven does munching under a pear tree 250 yards away from where I was perched inside of a fence row.

Realistically, in a perfect world, I should have had permission to hunt over by that food source magnet, but I didn't. Maybe next year.

For the time being, with the initial rut already over, I remain content to stay put.

Moreso after watching the daily traveling patterns of the deer in the area, which puts them out of bow range but in perfect yardage for shotgun and muzzleloader. The gun season starts tomorrow, Nov. 15.

Besides, after re-reading what tends to be my hunting bible this time of year, the November 2005 issue of "Whitetail Strategies" had a piece that justified my setup.

In an article by Winke titled, "The Rut Regulator," he recalls how during one hunt where the brute he was after "covered so much ground ... I could have had a shot at that buck no matter where I was sitting within a 40-acre area."

Which is why I'm thinking where I've placed my ladder stand along this fence row keeps me in business for the rest of the rut. The early trolling stage is pretty much over but he might slink along there once the first shots are fired.

Will this be my year? I guess you'll have to stay posted to find out. With the best time of the year for psycho bow hunters behind us -- the last week of October to the first two weeks of November -- I'm left with the remainder of the rut and the secondary one. Could happen. Also, someone could push the buck I'm hunting bounding across the field during the opening day of firearms season.

I don't know if my boy will really qualify for such a label as "trophy buck." He was an 8-point last year. Nothing of a jaw-dropper, but not bad for a Michigan buck.

Let's face it, our state is tough as far as wall-hangers go. Mucho hunters, in fact, it's often one of the top two for having most hunters in the field.

Along with this we have liberal regulations on bag limits and duration of the various seasons.

Of course, there's a good chance the buck I'm after is already summer sausage.

He could have succumbed during the youth "blankety-blank" season. (Which should be does only.)

I've yet to see him this year and the last time I saw him was Jan. 1, the final day of the late doe season. He was following two slick heads along the fence row where my ladder stand is now set up.

So now you see why I was feeling pretty good for the archery season, which has passed. Despite this, I'm still upbeat for the second half of the deer season.

It could be just a matter of waiting him out and being lucky enough to be on stand when he cruises by.

No better time than the opening day of firearms season.


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