Hunting in Southern Maryland, you get the chance to know a few animals you are hunting. This is a short story of one such animal.
In the early part of June 2010, a buck started to develop into a mature animal, which started to gain my attention. He wasn’t the widest dude on the block, but he was tall, heavy, and had a nice touch of symmetry. In early bow season I had a glimpse of him on two occasions. I knew then another year would help him turn into a shooter. With the deer gods in place, he somehow made it through the gun season and after the pressure laid off, he reappeared on my trail camera. That season, I found the right side shed and frantically looked for another two weeks trying to find his set. To no avail, the missing left side was never found. I cherished that shed for the entire off season.
Jumping forward to June of 2011, my boy had grown into a man. Still not the widest dude on the block, but he had become my deer. We were like boys!! From trail pictures, to a shed, to rubs and scrapes, this was my deer. How was I gonna position myself in his path? I knew when and what time would be best, but how? Along came Damien from True Country Whitetails, LLC. Talking deer with Damien was making my chances sound like this was a sure thing. Damien and I conversed about the actual day the rut would kick in. I knew this was going to be my chance. The first week of November arrived, nice evidence of what was to come, but no dice. Not what we were hoping to see. Monday and Tuesday of the following week became a little hotter, but consisted mostly of small bucks just outright being stupid! Wednesday evening, the tide changed. I had a small eight-point come in nice and cool with some swagger. Locked in on a big ole doe and the chase was on. I just about fell out of my stand that evening giving Damien a ring. Talking to him he recommended some fresh deer droppings from his farm. Wait a minute, a freakin’ bag of turds?? Yes, deer fans, a bag of turds!!! He instructed me to place hot doe droppings and urine soaked dirt in heavily-used deer trails and to dump fresh buck droppings in my boy’s scrape. I had never been so excited to get a bag of sh*t in my life! He shipped them overnight to me and I cracked the box open at my stand. I applied them just as I was instructed. In one night the scrape went from a normal foot-wide at top, foot and a half at the bottom, to a full-on cultivated box of “leave your card and number here and the does you are looking for will get back to you in a bit.” My chance was HERE!!!
Saturday the 12th of November. The morning was slow, matter of fact, very slow. The afternoon hunt was slow again, what in the world was going on here?! At 4:45pm I heard bionic squirrels behind my tree and I was not turning to look at them! Well, maybe I would have a peak; low and behold it was my deer! The trail pictures, the shed, they were all right there at 20 yards, and my friend, you are done! I drew back, settled to anchor, nose to string, no trigger punch, be smooth, THUMP, flight and SMACK! You are mine! The hot blood shakes rushed in. Whoa?! I looked back at my boy next to me on the same ridge and nothing was wrong with him. Matter of fact, he was just fine. My chance had come and gone. The arrow broke during flight into four pieces. Who in the hell was going to believe this bunch of bull?! Enter TCW again to the rescue. Damien boosted my confidence and explained I was under spined on my arrows. “Thanks, dude; so I’m shooting blanks.” Damien confirmed with a giggle followed by, “Yes, sir.” It was over, time to re-think this and not get a lot of sleep. Sleepless nights and agonizing visions of my arrow in flight, I was just torn. I was not giving up. I never give up!
Opening day of gun season. Every shot I heard in that bottom was him in my mind. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, all day I thought, “Dag gone it, that’s my boy!” Sleepless again! “Suck it up and get back in there,” I kept telling myself. Three weeks had gone by since the big missed opportunity. My day would appear again on December 1st. There were doe and bucks everywhere; my stand was the place to be! There was non-stop action, action, all evening action. Six bucks and a handful of doe walked, ran, ate, and even bedded down around me that evening. Until one magical doe stirred my whole bottom up. The bucks I had just let walk were all over this doe; deer were coming out like popcorn. Some I had yet to even see. A real nice eight-point took aim on this doe and I was gonna aim for him. I found a nice shooting lane, wide open, a 60 yard shot. The doe came through it, all I needed was the buck in tow, and he was mine. He never made it into the lane. He stopped. Why? I looked back down towards the bottom. You guessed it; it was my boy at 50 yards, broad side. The stars were in line for me, he was now truly my deer. Never give up and don’t be scared to try something new, like a bag of turds, because nothing beats the real SH*T!!! Thank you TCW, you guys rock!
TCW Field Staff