Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 11th was the day, the rut should be peaking this week.

Friday the 11th was a big day for me and numerous rut reports flooded in from some friends too.  Driving to my area in the morning I encountered a giant 160 class 10 point in the road that was frantically trying to find his way into the woods as he was pinned outside a fence.  My driving up to him only made him freak out more, but he found a way out of the road finally, awesome buck cruising alone.  My hopes were high, what a sight to see, now if I could only encounter a deer like that in the woods that'd be great.  As I sat in my tree stand Friday morning in anticipation of a deer crunching in through the extra dry and crunchy leaves, my buddy was blowing up my phone about an encounter he had with 5 bucks chasing a doe by him in the morning and he missed a shot at one of the bucks.  Minutes later he had another doe come by and another buck come in from behind him.  "Finally, its on" I thought, now when are my deer going to get moving?  Suddenly at around 8:30 am I heard the unmistakable sound of deer crashing through the woods in front of me in the clear cut.  I stood up and grabbed my bow immediately not know if they were coming at me or by me or where they'd pop out in the thick cut.  With so many roads crossing near my stand, they could fly down any of them and be on me in a hurry.  As I heard the crashing moving right to left in the thicket, out popped the doe in a full sprint across a long logging road lane in front of me at about 80 yards.  I starred at that exact spot as I heard the buck grunt and come crashing behind, out jumps Bullwinkle in a full sprint only 20 yards behind her, here we go.  The doe took him on a long run along the soft ridge in front of me zig-zagging through the thick cut.  Its amazing how gracefully a 200+ lb wide racked buck can easily keep up with a doe darting around even in the thick woods.  As they raced around in the thicket I was flipping my can call over and over again trying to pull the doe to me while she ran scared and suddenly they went up the hill and out of sight.  I could still hear the faint sounds of crashing but my heart began to sink as I thought they were gone.  Then the doe cam crashing back over the hill right down a cart road that leads right to my stand, but then she turned off, no buck in sight though.  I pulled up my binoculars to check her out, maybe the chasing kicked up another doe?  I saw her tail at half mast, a sign she's in heat, so where is Bullwinkle?  As I scanned left only 20 yards behind the doe there he was, standing there, nose in the air starring right in my direction where the bleats came from.  The doe was now calm and so was he and he began tending her, keeping a safe 20 yards between them but he'd move up every time she took a step or two.  I watched both of them in my binoculars for over 15 minutes as they barely made it 10 yards in that time.  While the doe began feeding, Bullwinkle starred in my direction looking for the source of the grunts and bleats the whole time, but he wasn't leaving her and she wasn't even interested in the calls one bit.  They worked left to right, slightly angling my way, there was a chance they'd end up in my shooting lane 40-50 yards out, a shot I'm prepared to take if the situation is right.  I practice all year at long distances not only to make the short shots easier, but in the event a big buck comes by at a distance and I have a clear shot, I don't want to waste that rare MA encounter, I want to be able to make the shot confidently.  They eventually got behind some white pines blocking my view of the hillside they were slowly working along, and they never came out.  I was hoping they bedded there as I know doe's have come off that hillside and down by my stand per my trail camera, but I think at the end of the day, the crazy high winds that picked up not 30 minutes after I lost sight of them strapped them down for the day.  I sat all day in the cold 20 mph winds and 30-40 mph gusts blew me around in my tree, just in case they popped out again.  They either bedded there or made a 90 degree turn and went further back in the clear cut where I know Bullwinkle spends most of his time.  I went back in there  Saturday morning with hopes he'd still be tending her or that other bucks discovered his catch and would be moving her around giving me a crack at Bullwinkle, but the bedding area was quiet.  I watched a bob cat hunt mice and squirrels for about an hour, he struck out multiple times on both, was cool to watch.  At around 8:15 am I heard fast foot steps coming at me and as I stood up a 4 point on a half trot came cruising by me through two shooting lanes at 30 yards, he was on a mission.  Later that afternoon in the same stand I had a deer cruise out of the bedding area on a good pace but it was 5 pm and too dark to see what it was.  It didn't come down by my stand like my camera has showed so often, instead it stayed up on the hillside about 60 yards out.  Not a bad two days in the big woods considering I saw ZERO deer Tuesday through Thursday, I'm hoping this is the week as the rut should be in full swing the next few days.  Hopefully the mild weather doesn't strap them down too much.  On another note, I checked a few cameras today while I was unable to hunt (I hate Sunday's in MA) and got a couple new big bucks on a community scrape that's in a natural terrain funnel that connects two huge pieces of woods.  One of the bucks on Friday 11/11 when all hell broke loose, was a nice 10 point at 10:38 am!  I also discovered an awesome 8 pt with super mass and long tines with a real right rack and gnarley bases.  Looks like I have some new bucks in some new woods to track back to their home range and start planning to hunt them.  I also marked a couple climber trees, this spot is too good to ignore the rest of this season, I'll have to try it a couple days at least.  Good luck the next two weeks to those who will out for what I think is the best two weeks of the MA bow season!  I'll be out there almost every day, here we go, it could happen.

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