I finally got a chance to go to the Cabin Friday afternoon for a hunt. Our weather pattern has changed and I would not be plagued with the NE wind that prevented us from hunting the entire first season. We simply do not go when the wind is wrong.
I decided to go to the Straw House for a quite evening of watching. About 4:45 I started seeing deer, most of which were bucks. Spikes, and small racks, a nice 8 point, and then a very nice 9 point with a drop tine. I had seen 8 bucks, but by then it was getting on toward 5:30 so I decided that since Pat would be here for the Saturday evening hunt, I would not shoot.
Saturday morning found me in a favorite place. A 24' ladder stand against an Oak on the end of a ridge which overlooks the bottom. As it got lighter, I started seeing deer, most of which were bucks. (I only saw 2 does?) The bucks were restless waiting for the next 7-10 days to pass before our first estrus comes into play. They came from all directions, and were mostly poking along with their noses to the ground. I saw 4 spikes, forkies, sixes, and a small 8. The 12th buck that I saw in a 2 hour period, I decided to shoot. He was moving along fairly quickly, so I picked out a spot ahead of him and when he cleared the large trees, he presented me a shot, and he immediately dropped. It had all happened so quickly, that I was wondering as I climbed down if I had rushed and shot a dink.
Thankfully there was no "ground shrinkage" and he proved to be a 10 point with an 11" G2, and a 17½" inside spread.
Pat got to the cabin about 2:00, and we climbed into the Straw House about 3:00. It is amazing how two different day in the same stand can be so much different. I had seen deer and 8 bucks the evening before, and today we had only seen 2 does and a spike.
I was looking ahead when I noticed Pat easing her rifle out of the window. I thought that this was strange because she had not had her binocular up. I then looked to my left with my binocular, laid them down, and put my fingers in my ears. There was going to be a shooting.
The buck was walking quickly from left to right, so I grunted with my voice and he stopped. She told me later that she had forgotten to click her safety off. I waited for the buck to pass the spike, and grunted again. He stopped and put his head down to eat. At the shot, his hind legs buckled and then his front, and he lay still. We did not know how big he was because everything had happened quickly and neither of had had time to really look at him. We did not realize until we walked up to him that it was him.....HIM. The Sticker Buck!!!