Sunday November, 16th started no differently than any other morning. I got settled into my stand 15 minutes prior to legal shooting light, bundled up to fight off the below freezing temps. Roughly a half hour later I hear it; the tell tale sign of deer chasing. Although the ground was wet and quiet, it is a sound I have come to know all to well in the month of November. This was the kind of chasing you just know will fly right past your stand with no shot opportunity, it was fast and aggressive. Just as I suspected, right past me they went with a half rack three point leading the chase with a good buck lagging 30 yards behind. The big buck couldn't keep the pace with the yearling buck and doe.
After I "knew" I had no chance to stop them in my shooting lanes at their pace, 50 yards later they stopped chasing…. I could then hear more running behind me, I saw two more bucks flying into the area. Then another buck comes in. Again, I can hear deer running…. Another buck and finally the final buck to the party showed up. In the mist of all the activity converging on my stand at once I lost track of the doe, I figured she kept going. I then took my attention back to the big buck to get my first good look, HOLY CRAP! That's the four main beam buck! As I attempt to formulate a plan to try to call him to me, he bedded down 60 yards from my stand. It was a sigh of relief at the time having him bed as I knew better to attempt to call to him with now 6 other bucks, all yearlings and 2.5's all within 30 yards of my stand.
I only got one set of photos of him all summer, all in one night. I never saw him
again until last Sunday morning.
For the next hour I was really unable to move as the bucks were still all around me. The young ones were rubbing and sparring like they had nothing better to do. Movement from the big buck caught my eye so I slowly raised my binos up on him. He took a few steps to the south and bedded back down, THERE'S THE DOE! It was all starting to make sense now, he was on lock down with this doe. The doe stood up walked a few steps and browsed on some green brier then bedded back down next to the big buck. This got the attention of the younger bucks and gave them the courage to attempt to approach her. The dominate buck would not have this, he bluffed charged them when ever they would get with in 40 or so yards of he and his does location. A couple times he would stand up and show his dominance to the younger bucks by thrashing some of the saplings and pawing at the ground as if to make a scrape, although he did not urinate in the fresh dirt. While he was on his feet I attempted a couple doe calls, he snapped his head staring intently in my direction but would no commit. I then tried a series of aggressive grunts followed by a couple snort wheezes. He acted as he never heard them. My best guess is he figured the grunting and snort wheezing was from one of his subordinates he had been fending off all morning.
Again the doe rose from her bed and started to walk from their bedding location, I needed them to come 20 yards East to my location for a possible opportunity for a shot but they traveled around 50 yards to the South and bedded again. I could now feel the opportunity slipping away. Once the doe and dominate buck cleared the old bedding site, each of the small bucks cautiously worked their way over there and spent a while sniffing and flemming the two areas she had bed down.
Rather than brow tines, he seemed to grow double main beams in their place.
The morning had flown by, I checked the time and it was already after 10. The next hour and a half they were still bedding in the location around 100 yards from my set. This is when I see it. A trespasser from later to find out from Michigan who has permission on the neighboring property was trespassing. Little does he know what he did from his trespassing escapade, all of the deer scattered to the North. He never heard or saw them.
I was furious. I waited until he hit an area I knew I could catch up to him on as it is rather thick on this property and I have lost trespassers in the past getting down to soon losing them in the under brush. With him finally on an old skidder trail, I got down and made my approach. I am not getting into the conversation we had, but I made it clear to him he was trespassing. At first he denied it only to admit a few minutes later he crossed the posted signs to "see where the buck he had saw that morning had come from".
I did not tell him that he had ran those deer off me, when he asked had I saw anything I told him no.
Looking at the encounter in hind sight, there is no telling where that doe would have went after she rose from her bed. What were the odds that she would have brought the big buck back to my set? What would have happened had another buck busting them from their beds? Which way would they have ran? Would it have ended in a big buck for me? I really do not have the answers. All I know is I would have liked to have the opportunity to play it out to see how it would have ended.