What if the deer would've come out 10 yards further down the plot? What if I would've just had my gun already propped on the shooting rail? What if the deer would've kept walking toward the decoy? What if my gun barrel didn't get caught in the burlap? These were the questions running through my mind moments after blowing a perfect chance to harvest a nice 9 pt. Let's rewind?
This past weekend, I had the privilege to sit in the deer stand a few times. Saturday morning didn't offer any luck even though I felt like I was in the perfect setup. I called Clint to see if he wanted to film me hunting over the Tecomate Seed Food Plot on the power line Saturday afternoon. We decided were going to setup a buck decoy and use a rut smoking stick by Tink's. I placed the decoy and smoke stick about 60 yards down the plot. About halfway between the decoy and the stand, there was a fresh scrape on the edge of the food plot. The wind was blowing in our face at an angle, which was good considering the deer should be coming out in front of us. The deer we have been seeing have been coming out close to the scrape or at the very bottom of the plot. It was around 3:30 pm when we finally got situated in the tower stand. Clint and I were whispering what we hoped would happen and just texting people on our phones, trying to kill time until the ?golden hour? arrived.
Since there hasn?t been much rain, the squirrels were making a ridiculous amount of noise in the leaves to our left and right. Around 4:40 pm, the sporadic scampering from the squirrels had ceased and a rhythmic pattern of steps started resonating from the hardwoods to our right. I instantly looked at Clint and said ?That?s a deer!? Adrenaline suddenly rushed through my body and heightened my senses. I could hear every twig snap and every leaf crackle as the deer approached. He was walking right towards our stand! As the deer approached the food plot, he was so close that we couldn?t even see him. At this point, Clint and I were so excited that we literally felt like puking. Finally, Clint saw some antlers moving below us. Since I was in the right corner of the stand, I didn?t see the deer until he was a step away from entering the food plot. First thing I spotted was antlers. So I started taping Clint on the leg for him to let me know if it was a shooter. Clint gave me a thumbs up!!! It was game time! The deer was so close we had to be extremely quiet in our movements. I gently sat my binoculars on the floor and started to get my gun raised. By this time, the deer had spotted the decoy and had taken a few steps toward it. Perfect! I was thinking the deer was going to head straight for the decoy and Clint was going to capture the magic. The deer suddenly got spooked. He paused, turning his ears in every direction trying to pick up the slightest noise. I was frozen! I still hadn?t gotten my gun raised. The deer started walking toward the woods instead of the decoy. It?s was now or never! I quietly, but frantically tried to get my gun positioned on the shooting rail. The deer was just a few steps from disappearing into the woods when my gun barrel got tangled in the burlap on the top railing. As I untangled the barrel and clicked the safety off, the deer darted for the woods. BANG!!! ?Did you get him!?!? Clint whispers. My heart sank. I just had the greatest opportunity to take a nice buck and failed. I?m pretty sure in my rushed state of mind; I shot over the deer?s back at 15yds! We sat until dark and then got down to make sure I didn?t hit the deer. We didn?t find any sign of the deer being hit. This was the greatest hunt, with the worst outcome, in my life.
The image of the buck spotting the decoy & getting all stiff-legged
Even though I missed the deer, I had to show my family this awesome hunt. So when I got home, I played the footage for my dad, mom, sisters, and brother-in-law. As soon as the buck came into the screen, my sister was like I can?t believe you missed that nice buck. Great! Here we go, time for the clowning to commence. Then my dad chimes in, ?That deer about licked your barrel!? Now I?m trying to defend myself by describing what is happening behind the camera. My dad said he was going to get in that same stand in the morning. I said that was cool because I could just film him. He said that I wouldn?t have to worry about that deer again if he came out on him because he would ?put him to sleep?. So Sunday morning we headed back out to the tower stand. After getting in the stand, my dad couldn?t be still. His back was bothering him and he was on a bucket seat that didn?t have any back support. He kept squirming around and occasionally stood up. By this point I thought there was no way we are going to see a deer. So I just started playing on my phone and started texting people. Suddenly dad whispered ?Don?t move! A doe just stepped out.? By the time I get the camera turned on and zoomed down the plot, two more does stepped out. None of these does where on high alert like a buck was with them, so I immediately tell dad to pick one out and shoot. Before he can put the binoculars down and grab his gun, there were six does in the food plot. Three of these does are at least 120 lbs. Dad got his gun on the shooting rail and we pick out which doe he is going to shoot. ?Ready?? he whispered. BANG!!! ?Haha? I chuckled. The deer bounded off. Dad asks ?Did I hit her?? Then you hear me kind of laugh and say ?I don?t know?. I started picking on him because that is the first deer I?ve ever seen or heard of my dad missing. For some reason, he placed the cross hairs on top of the does back and shot over the top of her. I was like why would you do that, she was only 140 yards out. Then I realized that was the first deer my dad had ever attempted to shoot with a rifle. We decided to get down and check for blood just to make sure. As I waited for my turn to climb down the stand, I glanced back down the food plot and another deer had just walked out after all the commotion. I started whispering to dad to hand me the gun, but obviously he didn?t hear me. By the time he finally handed me the gun, the deer had run off. Now it was time for dad to get clowned by the family. Luckily for him, it was only mom there. So all he got was, ?I can?t believe ya?ll missed those deer.?
Even though pops and I were 0 for 2, those were two of the best hunts I?ve experienced in my life. I have to give special thanks to Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag, Atsko Scent Elimination Products, True Timber Camo and Tecomate Seed. Without the Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag and Atsko?s Scent elimination products, I don?t think Clint and I would?ve ever been able to get that close to the 9 pt. To be in a stand that is about 12 feet high and get within 5 yards of a buck like that speaks volumes for these two products. True Timber has great camo patterns for our area and the material is quiet. I will be purchasing more from them soon! Tecomate Seed just keeps bringing these deer in. We haven?t hunted that stand much, but now we have seen 3 or 4 bucks on it and a lot of does. So I highly recommend you guys try these products.
Below is the video of my first hunt
Below is the video of my dad?s hunt
These are 2 hunts I'll never forget!
This past Saturday Adam and I spent a great deal of time working in the heat and boy was it hot! We are preparing to put in some of our Tecomate Seed fall food plots. We went out collected a few soil samples and sprayed some round-up. At this location we're going to put in two food plots. One will be a half acre plot where we will plant Monster Mix. The other will be around 3 acres located on an old power line where we will plant Max-Attract and Ultraforage in alternating sections. The smaller plot has had crops on it before so conditioning the soil won't be too bad in that location. There are some weeds there, but not too many. The old power line, however, is slam full of grass and weeds so we've got our work cut out for us to be able to have a successful plot in this area.
While we were there, we also spent a good deal of time scouting and walking the land. We found some rubs, saw some sign, and even saw a deer as we scouted. We feel these are good signs, but we shall see as the season goes on. Our goal was to find areas where we wanted to put our food plots at this location and get the soil samples + start spraying and that's exactly what we did. I think I soaked 2 shirts with sweat and I got really dirty by the end of it all. I wore pants out this time since last time we did this I caught poison ivy. I also wore boots since I've been seeing a lot of pics of snakes lately. I had the perfect combination for being protected from the elements and also being hot and sweaty.
The Small Plot
The smaller location is at the back end of the property and it looks to be a good location. Our area of SC has parts of town that are all clay, some are all sand, and then there are areas that are mixtures of both. The area of this plot is made up more of clay than dirt. The small plot is probably about 100 - 120 yards long and 25 yards wide. This should turn out to be a nice food plot and it also has a few oaks on the edge with a good crop of acorns. We'll need to trim back some of the other trees to improve the vision to all end s of the plot. This location will be the easier of the two to plant. As you'll see in the below video, Adam took the soil sample and then sprayed the field with Round-up to kill the weeds while I documented everything.
In hopes of not getting our plot overtaken with weeds (as we did in the summer at the one location), we're going to spray it with Round-up, then come back in with the GroundHog MAX to disk it up, then return a few days later to spray it again. The reason we'll spray it the second time is to kill any dormant seed that we may have turned up while disking. After we spray again, we'll give it a few days before we go back in to plant the seed.
The Large Plot
The larger plot is the one that's located on an old power line. The power company use to have poles run through this section of woods, but in recent years they have removed the poles. This left a great place to put in a food plot. The only problem we have is the weeds and grass that now resides in the area. There are a ton of weeds currently in the area and so we've got our work cut out for us to get an effective food plot installed.
We are going to try to put another long and narrow plot in this location. Here again we collected another soil sample and sprayed Round-up heavily. We're going to let it sit for a few days and hopefully get a good portion of the grass and weeds killed. The weeds are so tall that I may even go back in and mow it down some. Then we'll go back in, with a tractor and the GroundHog Max, and disk. Following suit, we'll let it sit for a few days then return to spray again as we want to kill off any dormant seeds turned up while disking.
You can see the video of all this below to get a visual for what we?re talking about and attempting to do.
So you've seen the hopeful locations of 2 of our fall plots. We're optimistic that we can pull it off, but again only time will tell. In the mean time, we've got a lot of work to do. More to come.