Vince Kolacz, OH
This was my first time out of the year. I don't get to hunt as much as I shoot, so i called a good hunting buddy for advice. It was the first week in November and the bucks were chasing the does pretty heavy he said. "Go where the does are and you will find the bucks" I dan hear him say in his thick Greek accent. I asked him about grunting and rattling. He had been using those techniques recently and said that they were working well. When I asked him about scent he said those never work for him. He said to just scrape the leaves away exposing the dirt in an area about 6 feet across and the deer will smell that and become curious and check it out.
Well I got to the tree later than I wanted to but thought I would at least see if the deer would be close to my chosen tree. Like my friend said...I went out a few yards and scraped all the leaves away and dug up the dirt. I also dug up the dirt around my tree so that I didn't make too much noise when getting my stand hooked up. I was up in the tree about an hour when I was surprised by 2 small bucks coming toward me. THey weren't shooters so I just watched. They came right to the dirt I stirred up! This stuff worked I laughed to myself! they never scented me and milled around for a while checking the dirt out and wandered off. as they got out of sight, I thougght that I would try rattling and see their reaction. I hit the rattle bag pretty hard for a few seconds and waited and watched in the direction that the bucks went. It wasn't too long before the largest of the two came running towards me with his chest all pumped up and head high! This time he came right to the bottom of my tree and looked around while sniffing the fresh dirt I had just dug up. Again he wandered off as I had a smile on my face. My buddy really knows his stuff and I was really having a good time in the stand. I settled down and scanned the woods for activity around me. Soon I saw two small does trotting through the woods above me about 75 yards away and slowly moving away from me. This was an excellent opportunity to try the grunt that my buddy said would work this time of year. I hit it three times with short crisp grunts. To my amazement, the does turned and came straight towards me! This can't be happening to me I thought! What a night I was having on my first hunt of the year and I wasn't in the stand for an hour and half yet! The does came right to the other spot that I had cleared as if it were a magnet. they sniffed around and suddenly looked back and bolted off. Just then I heard brrrrp, brrrrp and this monster was under my tree at 8 yards. I had little time to think and just drew back and released my Axis 400 with a Spitfire 100 at the buck. It was getting dark and I never see the arrow fly anyway, but I heard that unmistakable slap of a good hit. I watched the buck disappear into the brush and waited for a crash but it never happened. It all happened so fast, Ididn't have time to get buck fever and now I was shaking like crazy so I had to sit down to collect myself.
I got down and it was pitch black out and I couldn't find my arrow so I waited to look for him the following morning. I was having trouble finding any blood and started walking circles in the area I last saw him. I remember an old timer telling me that a wounded deer will always go to water. I was hunting close to a lake and started off that direction. He was about 10 feet from the edge of the water with a perfect double lung hit but not very much blood at all was on the ground. Luckily with some help from above...I found him. Usually I am disappointed by the size of the antlers when ground shrinkage occurs but not this time. I nearly fainted when I saw him laying there. He weighed 190# field dressed and measured 143-2/8 green. The size of the deer certainly was awesome but the experiences I encountered following my Greek Buddys advice made this a memory that will last a life time.
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