Friday, October 25, 2019

Recently, a guy who I met through my book seminars was asking about how to approach things for this coming week. He had to push his vacation forward due to his wife’s upcoming surgery. I gave him a little bit of advice because I have always done well during the last week of October. It’s one of my favorite times to be in the woods, and I wouldn’t trade if for much.

If you can find scrapes this time of year that have licking branches and have just been opened up, I’ve seen time and time again where the bucks will visit that scrape again in the same week. My intentions for the weekend were to use that advice.

I decided to get one last day in the woods with the muzzleloader today. I went in early and got out at noon. I was in the woods by 2:00 p.m. It didn’t take long for the heavens to let loose and start dumping rain on me. Dad also decided to take the afternoon off. We headed in different directions to do look at a few different areas.

I headed into an area I’ve never been with a weapon. I’ve been in the area at other times but never while hunting. I’ve always seen sign there, so I wanted to see how it looked in the early season. I had marked some scrapes on my GPS and was curious to see if any of them had been opened yet.

As I neared the location, I stopped and looked at my GPS. When my eyes hit the screen, I heard a noise. Looking up, I could see a doe getting out of her bed and bolting away from me. She didn’t run far before stopping. I could see her tail wag a few times, so I decided to stand still for a bit.

When she disappeared, I started looking at the GPS again. I saw that I was within 100 feet of the scrape I had found while scouting. Excited, I zoomed in on the screen. The split second it took me to do that cost me a big buck. He had been lying a short distance to the left of where the doe had been, but a big tree blocked my vision. When he got up to go, I had the GPS in one hand and my gun in the other. There was no possible way I could get the gun to my shoulder and get on him. After a few bounds, he was gone……maybe the only opportunity I will get for the season. In the Adirondacks, it’s hard to see any deer, let alone a big buck.

Dejected, I wandered around for a while and got back to my truck at dark. When I caught up with Dad later that night, I found out that he missed a nice buck. He found a fresh scrape and sat a little ways from it. The buck was coming in to freshen it right when the rain tapered off. Dad is assuming he hit some beech whip brush. He could’t believe he missed — and neither could I. He’s usually pretty deadly when he has a weapon in his hand. Although it saved us a lot of work, it would have been really if he had gotten the buck.

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