|one of us|
Location: Western Kentucky Deer Lease.
Rifle: 35 Whelen Model 70 Custom Shop, 24 Inch barrel.
Load: 225 grain Accubond at 2,700 FPS, 3642 FPE.
On the Road Again:
Opening Weekend in Kentucky is the Second Saturday in November. The Friday before opening day I got out of the office late. I had to stop in Bowling Green to pick up some items for one of the lease members. I hat the guy who can't seem to bring his socks, or his mits, or his jacket. However, the sorry Tennesse Vols fan who asked me to stop is the center spoke of our loose afflicated club. So, stop I did. THis placed me another hour behind.
The drive is four hours which for me is a walk to the mail box. I called, I tested for a hard address. What I recieved was a general location on a certain named road. I knew I had passed this up when I got to the next intersection.
This forced me to get back on the phone. My asking for a hard address did not work, so this time with strong language I demanded a hard address for camp. This was meet with the verbal equvalient of an aborignial guide singling me in.
Oh well, I arrived in the dark. I was somwhat disheartned because I am not the youngest person in the group any more. I met a young femal hunter who made the fourth person my 32 years of life has seen me advance past in your group. "Let me guess. You are twnety-four."
"Yes, I am." This young lady had just got married and starting her career in education. She was happy to be twenty-four.
"You know, there was a time not that long ago were whenever I was in the group, I was the youngest person there. Now, I turned thrity-two and all of a sudden younger folks are everywhere."
Last year I swore on a box of Accubonds I would not shoot the first doe I saw. I kept my promise. I am not sure why this was such a concern. I have been blessed to take more than two fist full of deer and only three of those have been does. I have never shot a doe on this lease. Also, Western Kentucky one is allowed 2 anterless tags and can purchase extra antleress tags. Kentukcy does not have doe and buck tags. We have antlered and anterless. The regulators say it does not matter where you are, what time of the year, what weapon, or how old you are, everyone is allowed one antlered whitetail across the Commonwealth. Anterless tags are very different and dictated by your zone. The distinction between antlerless and antlered will become more important. This year I swore on a box of Accubonds that I would not shoot a 2 year old or younger buck. Now, I admit being a Whitetial meat hunter. I have taken some old bucks but most have been two years old. I still have not found that really big buck with a rifle and tag in my possession.
My mind we had two goals on this hunt. I wanted that not just old and over the hill buck, but if I saw him he was going to get invited for dinner, but the big buck. The collective goal was to get the young lady her first buck.
Most of the group are bow hunters and the hunting is the edge of agriculter where trails heading from cover to the fields. At the risk of my bow hunting friends reading this they hunt it hard early and often as the bucks are comming into this agricultre during our bow season. They took three 135 plus inch bucks during the bow portion of the season that starts September 1 and ends in January or February. Our leader begs me to start in bow season. I just cannot bring myself to use a bow, so the limiation of dates is of my own making, "My ancestors spent decades subdueing the Native Americans with rifles. I ain't about to use a stick and string now."
I also hate and loath tree stands. I have a ten foot rule. I am not getting more than ten feet off the ground. Since, the plan of attack is set up around bow hunting the stands are tall fourteen feet is considered short. I just cannot do the climb. The climb up does not bother so much as once you reach the plateform you have to climb higher, step up, and trun around. This simply is not my cup of tea.
I hunt on the ground like I do back home. I see deer. I know deer are their that I do not see, and I get blew at by deer. That is hunting.
The first day saw our fearless leader trying to whip me into a fourteen foot ladder stand. The stand was on a little knoll. There was a belt of saw barriers and deed milk weed and groin high grass in front of it. Then it was a swath of short grass. The knoll dropped down into a wooden creek bed. The other side of the creek bed was a pasture. The right of the stand dropped into another rolling pasture once one dropped of the knoll. The left of the stand had a large belt of standig hardwoods and past the hardwoods was a big soy bean field. The creek ran right down the middle of it.
After I finally convinced the Captin I was not getting in that tree, he headed out down the knoll. I got on the edge of the the belt of brush in front of the stand. The wind was whipping and rain was sideways. I figured that the deer would come from behind the stand and around the belt of brush, or would come from the soy bean field traveling the creek bed.
I never saw the first deer which I assume was a do. I heard a not to startled short snort to my right. Well, you can't be down wind of everything. Luckily, the deer did not make too much noise. Just a snort and no more.
Thirty minutes later, I heard a deer to the left in the creek bed sloushing through. I turned to my right with rifle in my hands when I heard the sloushing stop. The deer was a lone doe. She got out of the creek bed at the end of the big timber and walked the edge of the brush belt right up to me. She froze at ten feet and stomped once looking right at me. She raised her right foot a second time in that bent at the elbow, blew and wiheeled without putting her foot down. She ran around the brush line and back behind the stnad.
I talk to myself huntiing, "Well, I do not like getting blew at, but she did not smell me. She just got plain scared when she realized she almost stepped on me."
The rest of the early morning was hunkering down against the rain. The Captin texted me that he was comming out only seeking a small eight. "Try practicing climbing up the stand."
I thought, " I am going to get up that stand. Kind of get stuck and big buck is going to come walking by. Well, the Boss could see the stand from across the way and would not stop until I started to climb.
I climbed the three sections of the ladder which brought my head even with the platform for your feet. However, I could not get myself to extend by body past the laddar. I hung there trying to muster up the extension. The reader can guess.
I heard a hard running to my right. I looked over and running parell to the stnad was a doe. I hanging there like a bat did not move. She ran own, but no buck was in toe. I then heard one soft eugh. There is a buck somewhere. I looked across the big timber. I saw another doe running the Kentucky Derby across the soy bean field.
Well, I dropped off that laddar like a big city firearm. I reached my rifle just as the buck hit the fence sperating the big timber side of the creek bed and mine. He had to break stride to jump the fence. I had him just as he hit the other side. I saw as him came down into the scope that he was a two year old eight pointer. He ran up the creek bed. I watched cut across the right pasture. When he disappered in the far tree line I heard one shot.
I would see three does walking slowly up the big timber on the soy bean side. If a buck was with them, then I never saw them.
We met back at the trucks. The young lady hunting with her dad did not see any deer. That eight point would have made her day.
The yound lady and her dad's conversations revolved around there lack of seeing deer. I attempted to make myself feel better by reminding Captin that I was keeping my promise. "You got to be proud of me. I did not shoot that young buck. I could have, but I did not."
The leader of your band of brothers replied, "I saw him when he hit the field. He was not that good."
"Yeah, but I did not shoot him."
"Yeah, but you did not get your, two words I cannot type for public reading, in that tree!"
We got our maps out and discussed where we would all stack out for the mid day into the evening. The leader having got us all there, and having tagged out during bow season headed back to the Eastern Time Zone.
He sent me to the part of the lease the three big bucks had been killed on. The young lady and her dad would be hunting below me. Another memmber would be hunting a creek bed to my left.
The rain had stopped, but the wind was now gusting to over twnenty miles per hour with gust touching thrity miles per hour. The good thing was it was constant, and I was unlikely to get blew at on the ground. I marched to the pinpoint I placed on ONX Maps of the area during the mapping session. I came to a stand of Oak Trees, four to be exact, in the middle of a cut agriculture field. The smallest tree had a sixteen foot, single man ladder stand. I say single man. The stand was a single man if the man wa a lepurchan. This stand was tiny. He faced a food plot that we palced against a stand of timber with scrapes and rubs throughout.
I can only figure I had been insluted enough. I wanted to show the boys I could get in these damn stands. I just did not want to. I made sure Raven did not have a cartidge in the chamber. I made sure again. I left my pack against the tree because there was aboslutely no room up there. I slid Raven over my shoulder diagnoly so she could not slide off. I grabbed on. I would stop when the wind blasted. I would grab another rail before the next blast came. I finally got to to top of the last section even with my head even with the platform. I slid by feet deeper into the rails. I locked my right arm around a rail. I reached with my left and pulled the rail down to the foward or rest postion. I do not know how I got up ontop of the platform and turned around to sit down. I know I put but hands around the seat and used a push up motion and twisted into the seat without having to stand straight up and turn.
The rail came below my ribs. The tree was not eight inches wide, so my back was wider than the back support. My feet would not feet on the platform of the stand because it was too small. I had to slide my feet to the instep out of the brace bars wtih the toes sticking out. I actually did not mind this so much becasue I felt like I was holding if not the stand up, myself up in this thing. I laid Raven out atop the rail looking over the food plot. I held her hand in my right like as child at a circus full of the scary clowns. My left hand I chambered a round. I then grasped the rail with my left and and pushed my self back against the tree.
I would feel the siffest viberation feeling comming from the stand with the wind gust. Had I been comfortable in this stand. This was not one you could fall asleep in beacuse if you leand to the left or right you would fall over the rail wich was below my ribs. I would look at the trees whipping in the wind as it charged toward me, "Well, if it did not blow that one down, Surely, it won't blow that one down." The wind would hit. the stand would viberate, and I would take a bullrider's grip on the rail. Those who have read me before know this is the part where I said a prayer.
This stand was very productive in its way. I saw a late of the year fawn. The fawn's mother, two spikes, a four pointer, and a basket, eight. I would slide me left and to the stalk and sight in between the wind. I brought my hand to my chest pocket and managed to one handed call the dad below me when the four pointer hit the food plot.
"There is a little four pointer up here. Just walk straight up the tree line, and you guys will get on him."
"There are four does around us. We are going to hold here."
I slid the phone back into my chest pocket half sticking out in case I wanted to use it again. This was before the eight appeared. I expected that little eight to be out. Sure enough he came from the right corner where the food plot meets the timber. The late of the year fawn's mother was in the food plot. The young eight did not care about her. He was a weird buck. He had that two year eight point rack size, but he was very small and short in the body. I took my left hand and tried to quick draw the phone. I was going to let the young lady and dad know he was here. I dropped it. I watched fall sixteen feet on the ground.
I would watch very small spikes, the late year fawn, and the mom to that fawn until darkness become full. I thought someone would come check on me. I whistled. I yelled. I had no idea how I was going to get out of that stand, but I knew I could not do it alone. No one came. I could see the screen of the pone on the ground. The screen was as black as the niht sky. No one was calling. I had one comfort. The wind had stopped with the disapperance of the moon.
I still do not know how I got out of that stand. I ddid not get out of it alone. I am sure angels came and carried me down.
I was not hot, but I politely, with impolite words, told everyone what I thought about them leaving me in that stand. I told the young lady and the dad about the small eight and the pone. They had seen him and a much larger buck. However, the young lady simply did not feel comfortable with either shoot she was given by them.
"If you are not comfortable, you should not let go."
Her dad agreed.
Our leader back at his house receives trial camera photos on his cell. Each deer that hit that food plot was watched on his phone. I called him to report the evening.
"I got up in that damn stand. I hope you are happy. I do not know how I got down from it. I am sure I was carried down by angels!"
He ignored my accomplishment, "I was watching the small bucks comming into the food plot. Each time I thought Lowe is going to kill him right now.
"No. I swore no bucks two years old and younger."
"I know, but I just knew it."
The storm returned with a vengnce. We all decided rest was the better part of valour. The storm was gone again by one-thrity. I was in the field by two. I called Captin while driving out the next part of the lease. I offered and the young lady and the dad accpeted to hunt the food plot I had the evening before. I thought that little eight pointer might come back. He did not. "Since, you got in that stand yesterday, you can hunt that stand where that nine pointer is crusing."
"I will hunt there. But I am not getting in any of these word stronger than damn stands again!"
This thrid set up was a tear drop of an agriculture field comming of the main field. The right side had new growth timber and a pond. The back rolled off into new growth timber. The left had a little older hardwoods which seperated this field from another. At the very back was two trees standing alone. I got there. I set my pack up with my sticks in them infornt of me. The foreend of Raven was resting in the stcks. Her toe was in my lap and right hand loosely around her wrist. I could shoot near three hundred sixty degrees. I could see all the way to where the two fields form a T-intersection.
Does started crossing right in front of me. I would take picturs and send them to centeral comand. One blew at me about two thrity in the tree line to my left. I could here her running. I heard someone yell lound a stong profanity and a horn blowing. I was hunting with one guy who was on the other side of the main field who is older with moblity issues. He had a lumbar fusion six months ago. I thought he was in trouble. I called him.
He answered, "No, I am okay. I see what is going on across the road there is a trailer. They are fighting. The man is yelling at the woman to get out of the car. He put his head under the hood. The kids in the car just laid on the horn."
I looked up and a doe was running across from me left to right. I watched the sun get dimmer. I looked ahead and a lone doe was stepping out from the left. I would later range "her" at sixty-eight yards. I brought the rifle up. I had had eough. The deer saw movement and went away, but did not know what I was. I used my vocal chords to make a contat grunt. The deer turned and started to come toward me again. I got on. The deer came to a quarting on shot facing to the left. If the deer took to the left it would disapper behind the roll of the field. I killed the deer there.
The .225 grain Accubond enetered behind the last rib and exited in front of the off hip low. The deer at the shot twisted head on to me and fell.
I went up to my doe. I looked down at the exit infront of the hip. I unloaded Raven. I thought, "Are those trarsail glands." I bent down to bring meat to hands. I rubbed across the deer's head. Below the hair line I could feel little bumps. Looking at the head up close the brow made a ridge where under the hair the pre antler was rising.
I lifted the back leg and laid it down gently. "I am sorry little man. I did not mean to end you before you started. I promise you will be well used."
One of our members is the club butcher. He and I with his leadership did an excellent job of the buthcer. I kept one ham whole and bone in. I had Christmas with my adopted Uncles and one Aunt tonight. I did the final trim on the ham. I made a rub of ground cumin, fresh ground black pepper, sea salt, paprika, and chyane pepper. I placed the rubbed ham on a rack in a large aluminin pan. Next, I wrapped the ham with backon. I added one and a half bottles of tart hard cider to the bottom of the pan. I kept a heat on the smoker at two hundred eight degress to two hundred degrees as I fought smoking in the rain.
My Uncle brought his homemade smoker. The reader should think of a large, home use propane tank, with a fire box underneath, door lifting up cut in the tank lifting up, and a spout with a metal cover to throttle the air flow to the fire. The wood was hickory.
This cook was perfect. I reached a tempeture of one hundred and thrity-five degrees on the smoker after five hours. I finsihed in the oven to one-hundred forty-five degrees because the rain had finally beat me to under two hundred on the smoker’s temperature. The work had been done. The ends were well, but from the ends inward we had the most perfect medim rare venison off the bone. My other Uncle's wife was apprehensive. She ate her weight and wanted more. I buttered and salted up Idaho potatoes or baking potatoes and baked them up for the side.
My Uncle with the smoker made the most rich, homemade dark charcolate brownie for desert. I could not finsih. We exchanged gifts.
These folks hold no kinship to me either by blood or adoption. They are just fine people who have helped achieve my goals in life. They are a total of three. Two are a married to one another couple. Her mother and father are in the nursing home. Both of her parents tested postive for Covid twice in the last two weeks. The other is unmarried. He is from a large family form another state. Covid has prevented their family reunion, Christmas. God Bless them in the comming year.
I thought of while eating this antlerless buck, "For the deer, it is awful they taste so good. For us, the fact deer taste so good is a wonderful thing."
I fingered this out on an Ipad. Please forgive the spelling and grammar.
|one of us|
Thanks for the story.
The best eating deer I have found.
I call them rubbing bucks you have to rub the heads to feel the horns. Or that years doe fawn works well also.
I kid my fellow hunters and say for eating I like the ones with milk dripping off their lips.
I like eating venison I like hunting shooting deer.
|one of us|
Hard to beat tasty venison! Well worth the time and effort...
|one of us|
always an entertaining hunt report....I thank you
Give me the simple life; an AK-47, a good guard dog and a nymphomaniac who owns a liquor store.
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