Close isn’t always good enough

As I walked out of the woods on Saturday, I felt like I had done everything I could.

Yes, I wasn’t pulling a whitetail behind me, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

I was close to releasing an arrow on a fine 8-point buck on a chilly 18-degree Saturday morning, but as many archery hunters know, being out of range 10 yards can be all the difference in the world. And as I watched this buck chase a doe off into the distance through the forest, I knew he wasn’t coming back.

Disappointed? Sure. But that’s the nature of the sport I fell in love with long ago. Archery hunters work in close quarters, while branches and wind direction can flub up a hunt fast.

On Saturday morning, I didn’t have anything to blame but bad luck. A buck had chased a doe out of a thicket and the pair stopped to rest about 65 yards in front of me. A few contact grunts had the pair working my direction, so much so that the doe came in to 43 yards. With the buck following by 10 yards off her tail, I thought I had a chance.

He worked a scrape, all while licking his nose as he tried to figure out who was grunting in his territory. At one point he crossed my drag rope line I had laid out that morning. I’m sure he smelled the estrous in the leaves, but he had no interest in following it to far for fear of losing his doe.

He came a few steps inside 50 yards, but when the doe saw a chance to trot off, he was right behind her. And away the pair darted into the timber.

It was fun while it lasted. It was a fantastic encounter with a buck I had on camera a few times this fall. I’ll have to settle for that and wait for rifle season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Blog Author

    Mike Kuhns

    I'm a lifelong hunter, who in the last 10 years, has found a reborn passion for archery hunting. In general, when it comes to hunting I like to listen and learn, and I think many of us can learn from one another. Hope you like the blog. Feel free to ... Read Full
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