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Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - 8:11 pm:   

Sorry if this is a long post....

Let me give you a little information about me first. I hunt on a private farm with one hunting partner. We are the only ones allowed to hunt there, and no one hunts any of the adjacent farms. (Yes, I know how lucky I am) The land owners have a few rules, like donít do anything unsafe, donít cut fences, etc. They have had problems with ďhuntersĒ in the past. Their main rule is to take any deer that we legally can. They are having a lot of problems with deer eating their crops. I have always hunted for meat and am just as happy to take a doe as a buck, so this is not a problem.

Last Saturday Jeff called me on the radio (we use radios with headsets) to let me know that a small buck was on the ridge about 50 yards behind me. Since I canít shoot behind me (It would be shooting toward the house, and even though itís about 700 yards away, I wonít do it), he asked me to go down the ridge where I would be safe. This puts a small hill between us. When I called back to let him know he was clear to shoot, he took the 4 point.

This is where it gets interesting. I walked back to the house and got my truck while Jeff field dressed the deer. We then dragged it a short distance to the truck and loaded it up. Mind you, we were out in the open and making plenty of noise at this point. Our guns were unloaded and in the extended cab of the pickup. As we were talking, another buck walked out on the ridge and then disappeared. We loaded our guns, and Jeff moved over where he could see an open field above us. I kept watching the ridge, and the buck came down toward the truck. When he got about 75 yards away, I shot and then Jeff shot as he started running.

The buck didnít make it far. We found him in some dense brush just off the ridge. It was an 8 point with a 16.5Ē spread with two shots through the lungs. We dressed him and dragged him back to the truck. At this point (9:00 am), we decided to call it a day.

I have had deer walk close to me before, but never while making that much noise. We were at the truck opening and closing doors, talking, and loading up the other buck. I swear if I had let the second buck keep walking, he would have walked right up to the truck. Youíve got to love the rut.

I can only hope that I have more days like that one! My wife loves venison, so this takes the pressure off of making sure there is meat in the freezer.

By the way, does anyone know of a good processor near Staunton or Charlottesville? I have always processed my own, but wouldnít mind having someone else do it once in a while.
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 8:16 am:   

Congrats Michael on an exciting hunt. Farm deer are usually accustomed to human and human activity. This might explain the buck's lack of interest in your activities.

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