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Birthday Buck – A Story of Grace When The Light Is Fading
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My friend Jason Love recently had a birthday and since I couldn’t afford to buy him anything I figured I’d could “gift” him my presence in the woods! Jason and I hunt and fish together a lot so we looked forward to getting together. 

Jason has a hunting spot where he’s been getting some pics of really nice bucks, but they’re only coming in at night. The below game cam pic is the one we were after. Jason told me early on that it would only be by the grace of God that we see this deer in shooting light. 

The Buck on Game Camera Pre-Season

Jason and I in the standSo we knew the buck we were after and knew he liked to come out in the evenings. As you know, it’s been really hot lately and yesterday in particular the weather wasn’t the best scenario. It was lightening off in the distance as we entered the woods, but we played the wind and weather conditions the best we could. Jason has always told me “If you want to shoot big bucks you’ve got to learn to hunt the wind.” His words would be like foreshadowing on the hunt on which we were embarking.

We climbed in the stand at 5:30 and got situated. The stand overlooked a shooting lane and was camouflaged back in some trees. It was indeed hot and yes we did sweat for a while! Of course we had our laugh out loud moments on past memories and of course we got some Jesus time in as well! Jason and I have a habit of preaching to each other and to anyone who will listen and we’ll be glad to talk to you too!

The view from our standAfter our deer stand sermons were over we knew we were ready for the hunt! Little did we know what was about to happen. We hadn’t been sitting there too long when a doe walked out in front of us. I never heard or saw that doe coming it just appeared. It didn't stick around long and eventually it laid down and took a nap in the edge of the cut over! 

The sun was slowly starting to fade and our ability to see down the shooting lane would soon be gone. Both of us were desperately looking for the ONE to come on out and give us a shot. Moments later Jason says “There is a deer!” Then he said “That's my deer!” A few seconds later I heard the rifle go BOOMYOW as he fired the shot! The deer bolted towards us and from what I could tell he crashed! At that moment it was all praising God for His blessing! We sat in the stand for a bit to both celebrate and let our racing hearts calm down.


We then climbed down and located the deer. It was a nice 7 point with a 19.5 inch spread that ended up weighing 190lbs. Once we located the deer Jason got on his knees and he praised Jesus for it! He had made what we thought was impossible, possible, like He always does! It was a birthday hunt that we’ll never forget.

In many ways the story of this hunt parallels the way God often works in our lives. We often make “our” plans and adhere to “our” own envisioned timelines and schedules. We go out and when things don’t work as we think they should or when we think they should we get frustrated. I’ve sat in a deer stand many days when I thought I should be seeing deer and didn’t see anything just like I’ve looked at life many times and felt like things should be different than my current circumstances. Though, we can’t impose our schedule over God’s schedule. His timing is perfect, ours is not. So just when you think you’re down and you don’t see any way to move forward… stay positive and keep listening to those uplifting you and speaking biblical truths to you. Just when you think the light is fading you may just experience God’s grace. 

Jason Love with his nice early season buck

 


Calling Ducks to Calling Bucks
   
 

Blake at full draw just to watch the big one walk away.

After taking a break from all of the practicing for upcoming duck calling contests, my dad and I decided to spend a little time in some of our tree stands in search of a nice buck. I have started archery hunting and have been leaving my Ruger behind at rest in the gun case.

My dad and I decided to hunt in a two-man ladder stand alongside some hardwood ridges. The deer have always traveled through that section in years past. It?s also a great chasing stand for those big boys in search of some ladies.

Around 9 o?clock that morning, we heard footsteps behind the stand and new exactly what it was. As my dad peeked through t he corner of his eye to check out the intruder, he saw the horns. A dark horned, wide 6-point had made his way up the ridge silently and unseen. The buck was just out of bow range but slowly approaching the perfect shot. Just as I was gathering my bow, some coyotes started howling and that buck wasn?t thinking twice about staying around. As he fled the woods, I came at full draw and tried helplessly to stop him just hoping for a shot. The coyotes were just not in our favor that day.

   
The brown is down! A nice little 7-point with a broken right beam.  

Being the determined hunters my dad and I are, we were not giving up just yet. We hurried out of the woods and headed to grab some lunch. After eating and messing around town, it was already time to be heading back out into the woods. This time it was all on me. I was going to be in one of our best spots! I would be carrying my Bear Apprentice bow and my climber. As I inched my way up the hardwood, my dad was making his way out to his spot. It wasn?t long before the sun starting creeping below the trees and I started getting twitchy! I mean?I don?t know about you guys reading this, but when that sun goes down?my spirits go up!

Well like I said?as the sun dropped, my target was making its way towards me. At 7 o?clock a 7 point appeared on the hillside about 70 yards away. When he finally got up around 40 yards, I came to full draw. At about 30 yards, he gave me a perfect broadside shot. I took the chance and stopped him. I didn?t know the exact yardage, but I was close! I thought he was at 35 yards and put my 30 yard pin on his back. When I released the string?my arrow flew right over his back, just grazing him. You guys know what I was thinking, but the Lord gave me another chance. My 7 point then turned and licked his back where my muzzy had grazed him. This time there was no missing involved and my second arrow stuck him and we were on his trail.

WOW! What an experience! If you don?t bow hunt then you need to give it a try. All I can say is ?adrenaline?.

Good Hunting Blake


SC Bucks Browsing the Tecomate Seed Remote Food Plot
   WeHuntSC.com - Buck in the Tecomate Seed Food Plot
  Buck in the Tecomate Seed Food Plot

After the Eagles game Friday night I knew it was going to be cold the next morning, so I put some extra layers of clothing in my McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag and let that baby roll all night long.  In retrospect I was glad that I did because it was pretty chilly out there the next morning?and yes, I smelled like dirt!  With the cold weather, all the scrapes, rubs, and rut activity going on, I was excited about going and sitting over one of our fall, Tecomate Seed food plots the next morning. 

If you?ve been following any of the Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey over the course of this past year, then you know that we?ve been working hard putting in food plots in various locations.  I went out to the ?power line plot? this past Saturday morning and had a pretty neat hunt.  The power line plot has Tecomate?s Max Attract & Ultra Forage in it.  It sure is coming along nice by my rookie food plot creator standards.

We?ve got a tower stand placed about 1/3 the way down this plot.  We put it here so that we could easily see to the bottom of the food plot.  I like this stand because it?s in a good location and it?s provide a spacious setup from which it?s easy to film.  Oh, and there just happens to be a nice scrape about 20 yards down from the stand as well. 

I arrived very early so that I could get in the stand and give myself time to get situated and ready for the sun to rise.  As I walked through our food plot to the stand it was easy to see that the Tecomate Seed Ultra-Forage & Max Attract was growing well.  This stuff was higher than my ankles in many places.  With the low-levels of rain that we?ve had this year I was pretty pleased with the growth.  I opted to walk through the plot versus around it because there were dry leaves all on the side of the plot and I was trying to be quiet.  Walking through the plot rather than the edge helped reduce the amount of noise I made entering and I wasn?t worried about spreading a lot of scent in the plot because of McKenzie?s Scent Fan Bag + Atsko?s odor elimination products that we?re using this year. 

When I arrived to the tower stand I put out some doe estrus and then left the bottle open at the base of the stand.  The power line acts as kind of a ?wind-tunnel? and with all the recent talk and signs of rut I wanted this estrus scent to blow down the plot in hopes of luring a buck into the area.  I was hopeful that a buck would come through to eat and then smell the scent and work his way up the plot?at least that was my mental picture of what would be neat to happen and get on film! 

WeHuntSC.com - The Tecomate Seed Setup

I sat there in the dark for a little while and tried to get everything situated.  Carrying a camera, tripod, gun, bag, etc makes for a little extra work and requires some extra time to set up.  I finally had everything up and was ready to watch the sun rise.  I sat for a little while when I noticed a deer enter the food plot at the very bottom left.  I could tell the deer had a decent size, but yet wasn?t huge.  It was still kind of dark and it made it a little difficult to see?and even more difficult to film (so sorry for the initially dark footage at the beginning of the video below).  The whole time I was watching this deer I thought it was a doe.  It wasn?t until after reviewing the film that I learned that it was actually a small buck.  The raw footage isn?t quite as dark as the footage in the video below?when YouTube encodes the video there is a little bit of quality lost in the encoding.   As I sat in the stand thinking this deer was a doe I was pretty pumped because I thought there was a good chance that a buck may be coming behind shortly thereafter.

WeHuntSC.com - Buck in the Tecomate Seed Food Plot   
Buck in the Tecomate Seed Food Plot  

This first deer stayed in the plot for a little bit and I zoomed in and out trying to get more light in the camera.  I even moved the camera once trying to get it closer to me (you?ll see the bump(s) in the video).  The deer was just browsing and poking its head up and down.  I could see the deer ?winding? as some call it.  He was putting his nose up in the air and seemingly inhaling so as to smell what?s in the air.  I felt sure that the estrus scent I put out was making its way down the power line.  Though, thinking this deer was a doe, I didn?t really care that it smelled the estrus.  Either way I was pretty pumped because a deer came in the plot early and that signaled to me that deer were moving in my area. 

After seeing this deer my heart was pumping a little so I was very focused looking for anything that might be trailing shortly thereafter.   Sure enough about 15 minutes later I saw another deer enter the plot from the same direction?this one had a bigger body.  I zoomed in with the camera and got the deer in the video screen.  When I saw the rack I knew it was a good deer, but I knew that I wasn?t going to shoot it.  I wanted to, as the saying goes; let him go so he could grow.  I was sitting there with my rifle in my lap with the barrel leaning against the railing of the stand and with the tripod and video camera just to the right of me.  It may not sound like it, but in those few seconds it?s a lot to manage in between operating the video camera,  getting the gun up, and paying attention to deer in front of you (without spooking him).  I?m trying to learn the art of managing this all at once. 

Seeing these deer come through made me realize just how quick I?ve got to be ready to get my gun up if I want to shoot.  If the deer don?t stop, eat, or spend any time in the plot, then there are only a few seconds that you have to react.  If I would have wanted to, I could have probably got a shot off at this larger deer, but the shot would have been rushed a little and I don?t like taking shots in a hurry if I can help it.  He?ll be bigger next year!

Hoot, I did some commentating in this video for ya!

Ultimately, it was a good trip in the woods for me.  You don?t always get to see deer, but I was fortunate enough to see some on this hunt.  It also felt good to see some bucks in the area and to have them browsing on the food plot that we spent a lot of time installing.  Hopefully these two will make it for a couple of years and will hang around to walk in front of the camera again. 

Regards,

Clint

 


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