I was making my first sit of the year in a brand new food plot a couple weekends ago when I had an encounter I’ll not soon forget. I was kicked back in my ground blind on one of the most comfortable days of the season so far when a doe popped out to the left side of my blind and fed across in front of my hide. I was panning my camera and easing around in my chair to square up for the shot when the deer went on full alert. She was looking past my blind to something that was approaching the food plot. In an instant she turned and was gone. I honestly thought one of the big coyotes I’d caught on the Stealth Cam was cruising through so I snapped my release on the string and waited for the action to unfold. But it wasn’t a coyote that spooked this deer.
Just moments after the deer bounded away, a black blob began to emerge from the creek bank on the far side of the food plot. I thumbed the record button on my video camera not sure exactly what I was about to record. About the time I zoomed in, the black blob stood to his feet and began to walk into the food plot. A trespasser had snuck his way onto my property.
I immediately knew this wasn’t just any trespasser. The afternoon was warm. It was t-shirt weather. Yet this dude had a black hoodie on with his hood up and pulled forward to conceal his face. A cig hung from his mouth as he nervously glanced from side to side making his way across the food plot. He seemed to be on a mission as he quickly walked across the food plot. I honestly didn’t really think he was interested in my Double Bull blind. But at just 15 feet from the blind, and totally oblivious to my presence, he took a step my way as if he wanted to snoop. When he made his final steps to my blind I shouted, “What are you doing, Son!?!?” It scared him so bad he nearly did a backflip.
“Oh, just walking around,” he said in response to my question. “I think I’m lost.”
The moment he began to speak I recognized his voice. His face was well hidden with his hoodie, but his squeaky voice was unmistakable. When I probed for his name he got squirrely and defensive. When I made sure he knew he was on camera, he was ready to leave in a hurry.
I followed him to the property line to make sure he knew I was serious, then quickly made my way back to the truck to follow up on the direction he was headed. My truck was parked at the new house my family is building on the other side of the property. There’s no doubt in my mind the house was exactly where this trespasser was headed. You see, the reason his voice was so unmistakable was that he had just been to the house the day before…to work with the plumber. After working with my plumber all week at the house, the thief had made a return trip over the weekend to snatch tools, equipment, and my 4-wheeler.
I called the plumber that night and sent him the video of the guy I was pretty sure was his part-time help. After hearing the audio from the video, he confirmed that it was in fact his guy.
I sent the same video and info to my buddy that also serves as the local sheriff. A quick dig on the guy showed that there were 3 warrants out against him. Theft of property seemed to be his game. Within 24 hours he was in jail for previous crimes he had committed.
I thank God for the timing of things on that day. Despite being robbed of a little peace of mind, I couldn’t help but grin when I thought about how a busted deer hunt led to one more criminal off the streets.
Watch the video of the encounter in the food plot here: