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- Category Hunting Stories
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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
When I mentioned he should try bow hunting he kinda shrugged and said, maybe some day, but he would have to think about it for awhile. For awhile was five years. He agonized about what bow to purchase, the arrows and the Broadhead's.
Ladder stand or climber, the myriad camo patterns, scents, sights and even pondered specific binos. Roger looked for hunting stand spots on maps way before he ever set one foot in the woods with a bow. In my opinion he was way to finicky; he always said if you’re going to do it, be thorough, and consistent, or don't bother.
Roger took nine seasons to harvest his first whitetail deer with a bow. He would not shoot a doe, wouldn't take a spike buck and there was no changing his mind. When he finally connected, it was a respectable, big bodied six pointer he took off a ridge he had perched on for a countless number of days over that nine year span. During those nine years, He also got a divorce. Roger really liked bow hunting.
So after three more years of empty tags he stopped at my office on a breezy august day to mention he had spotted a bruiser buck. The same ridge he had taken the six pointer on. The buck was all fuzzy in velvet, had a drop tine off the right antler, twelve points with a rack thick as his wrist where it branched out from the skull. That was gonna be his next buck and nothing else would matter.
Mid September the season opened. Late September the buck showed up on his trail camera about two in the morning during a southwest wind warm spell. First week of October I saw some trail cam photos he had of bucks he wouldn't take. I told him he was nuts. He was turning down some real head turners. One ten pointer had split brow tines pointed out over its eyes. It would have been quite a conversation piece. Nope, he just had his sights on the twelve with the dropper.
First day of November the big buck made a huge time clock change according to the trail cam. The subsequent photos showed just after legal shooting time the buck was ridge running every day for the past seven days. Roger was sure the buck was sniffing out hot doe's. The last picture in early November also showed his big buck had a real nice fresh rip in his face along that the entire length of his nose. We had to wonder what other buck in the area would be dumb enough to challenge him.
The rifle season came and went, no rifle roger, no matter, did actually get to see the deer. Roger was going into his stand, maybe a foot and a half of new snow on the ground when the buck walked past it. Roger locked up and just let the deer stroll by at one in the afternoon sixty yards away. He said the bucks rack looked like it had a couple of trees on the deer's head. Roger sat in the stand that same afternoon, I heard all about it on the very next Monday at work.
Almost all of December we set some pretty impressive snow fall records. Roger told me the single ridge trail had now split once it dropped over the ridge. The trail now was in the shape of the letter y. One branch with the big buck tracks still meandered just under his leafless oak tree, the other branch cut down into a little swampy area with only two balsam trees and only does and smaller bucks used it. Roger said with all the snow, the deer looked like brown worms coming through the snow.
December 23rd, 12 above zero, he called and asked me if I’d like to fill my archery tag. He’d sit in his ladder stand, guaranteed me that at three in the afternoon I would have so many doe's shuffle past me I could take my pick, and we would only be about eighty yards apart. I would be sitting on a white five gal pail just off to one side of the two pine trees and my shot would be no more than fifteen yards, unlike roger, I didn't have to think long and hard over this one, I just said yes.
With the truck parked, more white clothing than anyone can imagine, we snowshoe’d me to the spot. I dug a hole in the snow with one of my snowshoes, plopped down the pail some where around two o’clock on a rather gray afternoon and sat down. Roger back tracked abit, finally I saw him un-strap his shoes, then climb his way up atop his ladder stand.
The warmth from all that effort to get out to the pail stand didn't last long. Every time I let the air out of my lungs the cloud of human exhaust would just linger in front of me. So there was no wind, and the woods with all the snow draped everything was so quiet. All I did for what seemed like forever was glance up at Rogers's immovable form, and then let my eyes drift to the right and see nothing in a deer path. Eyes Back to roger, over to trail, eyes moving, me shaking in the cold. Not to exciting.
Then I saw six brown humps, slithering in the snow much like roger described previously only the one in the rear of the line was a whopper. No mater how hard I stared with watery eyes at over eighty yards, but no way, no how, I just couldn't see any horns, but roger was lifting his bow to shoot. I stared harder and thought what is he aiming at.
Funny thing how you look to long in one direction, now something caught my eyes right in front of me. I didn't count exactly but I think when I let the arrow fly there was at least seven does on the trail that led past my bucket. In a whirl wind of snow deer were running every which way. Mine, by eye sight, wasn't hard to follow. It didn't go forty feet and tipped over.
I looked up at roger, he was fist pumping left and right so I figured he saw my shot and was celebrating for me. But he kept waving for me to come over to him. I put on my snow shoes and after checking on my doe, I shushed over to where he was now all shoed up and ready to track HIS deer HE shot. He said he got the big one. He was positive it wouldn't go far.
I said that just before I shot, I thought I saw him aiming at doe's, he said no; the scarred face rascal was at the tail end of the line and he nailed him. I said roger all I saw was doe's. He was smiling, lung air flying all over, I was happy for me and him, he was elated, he was grinning, with choppered hands he high fives me, and said come on lets go get him. Maybe twenty minutes after sundown Roger got to the deer first, he lets go with a whoop and holler, I came around with my big lumbering snowshoes and sure enough, a deer, a dead deer, dead as a door knob with a great big slash on his nose is down. Just one thing, the deer, had shed both his antlers. The trout whisperer