Lee Howard Punches Another Buck Tag with a Nice NC Bruiser!
November 5th, 2012 was a great Monday to take the day off work and try my luck in the woods once again. After Saturday night’s success with the 7-pointer, I was reluctant to hunt in the same stand location that I had killed that buck just two days before. Then I recalled that I had seen a really nice buck an hour before I took that seven point buck. The rut was in full swing so I decided to take my chances and see if I could draw that big boy out into the field one more time.
I got situated in the stand and waited for the sun to rise. I knew that it wouldn’t be too long before ole Frick and Frack would show up. That is the name I had given those two button heads that always seem to make an appearance every time I hunt this stand. Well, the youngsters never made their usual appearance and I began to question whether or not I had made the right call to sit in this stand.
The sun was now over the horizon and it was close to seven-thirty and I hadn’t seen a thing. So I decided to break out the antlers and do a little rattling. I stood up and got my muzzleloader ready then wacked the horns together. I was facing toward the open field ready and waiting for this buck to appear. I was not checking my peripherals and boy was that a mistake! I heard something that sounded like grunting coming from behind me. I turned around and saw that big buck crossing the small field behind me. I really couldn’t see him in detail but I knew he was a shooter from first glance. I got myself into position facing the direction I thought this buck would come from. I had a small hedge row of trees cutting the two fields in half and I knew he would come right to me using the tractor path which cuts through the hedge row of trees. Well, this wasn’t how it went down. He slipped into the woods behind me and down thru the draw to my right. I couldn’t see him anymore but I could hear him walking every once in a while. The wind was not in my favor and I had hoped that my elevation was high enough for him not to catch my scent. Several minutes passed with no sign of him and I wondered if he knew I was there. I considered rattling the horns one more time but I knew he was close and I didn’t want to risk him pinpointing my location so I waited. I’m sure it was only a few minutes but it felt like an eternity. I finally spotted him and he was coming into the field in the same location as the buck 7 pointer I took Saturday night. He made his way into the field and I believe he picked up the scent from where that previous buck had hit the ground. He walked within 5 feet from that location and I knew he was in range. I shifted my body to get ready for my shot when the deer stand creaked. I thought it was over! The buck flinched stared right at me. I knew it was now or never. Boom! I watched the big boy hit the ground and roll back onto his horns. It was a good shot. The smoke was starting to clear when he jumped up and ran out of the field. I just stared in shock. How could he have gotten up after that?
I gathered my things and decided to let this buck lie down for a while. As I walked toward my truck I thought I had better call for some search and recovery reinforcements. About an hour and a half passed and my father arrived with my bird dog, Belle. We walked to the spot where the deer entered the woods. No blood! I couldn’t believe it. I moved a little further in and found two specks of blood. This was it! Belle led me into the woods but she was so energetic and the area was so thick with briars and brush I had a hard time keeping her from getting tangled up. I decided to take her back to the truck.
My father and I sectioned off the woods and turned lap after lap. I had a sick feeling that we would not find this buck. My old man had an appointment that afternoon so I left the woods to go get lunch. It had been 6 hours since I shot the deer. I got a phone call from one of my friends and told him what had happened. He said that after he got off work he would come help me look for the deer. I was somewhat reluctant to go look again because I knew we had turned over every stone in that place, but I had to try. He arrived around five o’clock and I told him we should look in the one spot that I thought he might have gone. We made our way to the neighbors’ adjoining property. We were met with small pines, briars, and broom straw. We fought our way thru and continued the search for a few more hours. We had all but given up when I spotted the upturned, white swollen belly of a big deer. There he was the super six. I felt major relief come over me as we drug him out of the woods to the waiting truck. What an awesome hunt full of ups and downs.
Hunting Gear Wildlife Research Center / Scent Killer Big Game Tree stands / 17’ ladder Wildlife Research Center / Golden Estrus Gorilla / Camera Arm Scent Blocker / Apparel Camera 1 / Toshiba Camileo X200 Knight Muzzleloader Camera 2 / Kodak Play sport ZXS Scope / Bushnell Banner MZ 200 Hornady / SST 50 cal. Sabot 250 grain bullet Optics / Pursuit X1 Binoculars