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- Category Hunting Stories
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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
Snow started falling just after sunrise with no real course or direction, other than hitting the ground and everything attached to it, including me and they were large flakes, breathless; just float falling, without the slightest breeze.
For a while it was fun thinking about all the possibilities one could conjure up about fresh snow, would it make the deer move, would it be good for a still hunt or tracking and then I heard a shot, then another from the same direction, both shots along ways off, then the woods went quiet again.
Snowflakes without any wind to whirl them about started piling up pretty fast and I got an itch to do some snooping around, try out my amazing still hunting abilities, or at least the ones I hoped I had, but first I thought I'd head back to my house and see about a warm up and a sandwich.
I crawled out of my stand, stretched, took a look around and headed one soft stride at a time out of the woods. I made big boots prints without any sound and that gave me an idea to do some still hunting north of my stand inside a 300 hundred acre boreal forest flat, surrounded with some small intermittent creek ridges.
It had stopped snowing so I changed my sitting coat to a hiking jacket, put on lighter boots and filled up on some warm soup.
Walking back to the stand I saw only my tracks partially snow flake filled and maybe a hundred yards away and north of there I stumbled into a set of deer tracks, with fresh dark red blood flecks alongside only one side of the deer's tracks.
These tracks to me, indicated the deer was walking without difficulty, and seemed to be moving along at an easy pace.
Right there, I wondered if this was the deer, from the two shots I had heard earlier this morning.
I followed the tracks without moving as far as my eyes could see. Then I moved up along the tracks watching ahead along an imaginary direction I thought the deer was going.
I leap frogged along, looking, watching, and then moving, Always staying with the easiest deer tracks I ever followed. After an hour I had to wonder, how much blood is in this deer. It never stumbled or missed a stride as far as I could tell.
As I moseyed southeasterly in pursuit of this deer, it occurred to me, I didn't know, was it a doe or a buck.
Those Tracks went right up to a balsam stand and the tracks didn't enter the pines, it skirted its edges, like you or I would walk next to a fence, then the tracks at the last green pine angled down a slope and out of sight.
I eased over to my last visual, knelt down, saw red drops and looking up, tried to gaze downhill.
Without moving I scanned the far ridge, lots of up and down tree trunks, brush I wished I could see around, mounds of snow making tipped trees or stumps look like white colorless gnomes.
Every branch with two to three inches of white fluffy duff and one brown spot that was lying in the opposite slope, a buck, head up, feet curled underneath itself. The bucks head was rotating slowly as if he was noise and nose checking any breeze.
I easily counted eight points and raised my rifle. I dialed the scope in on a hump just about half into a slouched brown shoulder and touched off the shot. That buck just slumped.
During the night it snowed no more than an inch so I took off for the deer's back trail. It was a mind bender back tracking a deer I already had, but I wanted to see from whence it had come, and hoped I wouldn't get shot in the process.
Moving without my rifle, in the deer woods, felt goofy, and at the same time, for the first time, relaxing.
From where I first found the track, the deer coming my way, was moving much as it was yesterday, and I was just as excited tracking the ghosted day old tracks of today, as the actual of yesterday.
For better than an hour I wondered about, spotting the occasional, now day old blood. Then the blood stopped or should I say because of yesterday it hadn't started yet, but the tracks kept going backwards and with them I went.
For another twenty minutes, just tracks, then deer tracks with boot tracks, alongside bounding deer tracks, with boot tracks back tracking back the way they'd' come from, that were minus any blood.
Well, before I got to the start, or end of my tracking, I saw up in a tree, a very blaze orange hunter starring back at me. I waved, he waved back, and I left the tracks and walked toward his stand. He met me not quite half way.
He asked what I was up to, so I told him my story, about what I thought was his deer. He said he aimed right at the chest, with the first shot, he wasn't positive on the second volley, and I told him he must have aimed an inch or two lower than he imagined because that's where I found his bullet hole.
I told him the deer must have traveled the better part of four miles all together, and hadn't even begun to leak until a half mile from where his boot prints left the track.
He said he tracked it looking for any hair or blood and when he didn't see anything, he thought he missed. Couldn't believe he missed, but with a running deer and no sign of hit, he gave up. I asked him if he wanted his deer, he didn't think it was truly his, I didn't really feel like it was completely mine. We shook hands, with me keeping, our deer. The trout whisperer