It’s hard to control anger or frustration in everyday situations, but in the woods the same holds true. On Tuesday morning, I had one of those days that will stick with me the entire year.
It was one of the coldest mornings of the year with lows in the low 30s. Conditions were perfect. As I made my way to the area I was hunting, I kept thinking to myself how perfect the cold air felt. Certainly not your typical Oct. 11 morning.
And as the sun rose the excitement for me started with the first glimpse of antlers coming up the hill. This was no ordinary buck, this was High Flier, one of three bucks I’ve targeted in the area I’m hunting. He’s a tall-tined 8-pointer -12 inch G2s, and at least 10 inch G3s if I had to guess.
He’s certainly one of the biggest bucks I’ve seen on the hoof.
High Flier was traveling up the hill towards me with a smaller buck, feeding on acorns as they came. Seventy-five yards, 70, 60, and then he stopped. The mature buck stood at 60 yards just off to my right and downhill and waited. One minute. Two minutes. Three minutes! He didn’t budge.
And just like that he relaxed.
The smaller buck decided to bed down. High Flier didn’t. He’s angling up the hill right toward my stand. Fifty-five yards, 50, and I’m thinking this is really going to happen. My heart is beating and I’m doing my best to keep it under control.
And then the deer had a change of heart. High Flier decided he was going to bed up as well.
He took a 5-minute rest, his antlers glimmering in the morning sun like bone-white daggers. He’s bigger than I imagined from his summer trail camera photos I have of him.
And after a brief rest, he and the smaller buck worked their way back down the hill the direction they came. My heart sank as my body shivered from excitement.
It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had with a big buck in a long time. I hope we get to meet again.