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Run and Gun Public Land Buck

Harleycharlie

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
65
Location
Louisiana, Ohio
6365C5B7-78FE-446A-BD46-A0C7AB350708.jpeg F32FA287-3FD0-4C30-A2FD-1ABB0DE4E3C9.jpeg 1705678F-B505-41FC-810D-49B9D4B20B45.jpeg C6BF18B7-30DD-4773-83CC-2EA9D0ACC021.jpeg Start out by saying this is my first season saddle hunting......however I started researching this method of hunting after reading one of John Eberharts books “ bow hunting pressured whitetails “ in 2015. I also read other books about deer hunting at the same time , Johns book just really stuck out above the rest!!!!!!!! From there I found saddlehunter.com which is a wealth of knowledge too.
This hunt started post season 2016-2017 I was able to scout a piece of public land near were I was working at the time in Ohio. I know it don’t sound like much but for me it’s very difficult because of my job , I only have off just 2-3 weeks a year and my norm work week is 84 hours. So not much time for hunting let alone scouting properly. I discovered what I thought to be a primary scrape area. It was a small tree with like 9 scrapes around it , with runways all connected at this point. The runways had rubs all along them mostly on larger trees. At this point I’m really excited, the plan is set I will hunt here next season.
The year passes, the end of October is here and I get an early day from work. Yahoo! Time to put my hunting plan in motion. I run home grab my hunting gear. Which consists of evo saddle , 10 stepps with an aider, backpack and my bow . I get to my hunting area get dressed,hit the woods find my tree. Get settled in for evening , I start to notice the runways are being used as the year before but there is not one scrape around the tree anywhere. I thought maybe it’s early in the season yet. Didn’t see any deer .........ugh !!!!!!! Dark falls, I repel out of my tree and head to my truck. As I’m leaving I pass a guy coming out of the woods carrying a climbing stand not a hundred yards behind me . I’m thinking wow didn’t think that would happen because I’m off the beaten path really well. Round the next turn a nice buck disappears in the woods. I know for sure I’m in the right area. The next day get to work and we going to be off a couple days waiting on materials.......yahoo again !!!!!!! I run and grab my gear head to the woods . I head down the dirt road leading to my area and the same guy is walking out of the woods different place than the night before but not far from my area. I’m thinking okay this is not good . So at this point I decide I need watch a lil closer and see what’s going on . I park get dressed head to my tree for another afternoon hunt . Didn’t see anything. I know by now I should have seen at least a doe , after all this is Ohio it don’t take much to see deer here. Next day rolls around I do a morning hunt, did see couple young deer .........I guess it’s a start. Afternoon comes I think I should find another place because it is obvious at this point deer patterns here have been changed significantly. I Come to learn by doing a lil investigating this other hunter would get there in the afternoon. Do a lil scouting return to his truck gather his gear and head out in the woods to hunt. I guess he didn’t realize that he was letting the deer know of his presence.
I’m back to square one after waiting a year to hunt this area , needless to say I’m very disappointed. Not only that I have to head back to work. Not knowing when I’ll have another day to hunt.
A few more days pass and a mishap at work shuts my part of the job down .......so what ???? A few more days off. I’ll take it !!!!!!! God has smiled on me this season!!!!! I head out to my area knowing I have to find somewhere else to hunt as I’m riding on the front side of the property 2 nice Bucks cross the road in front for me. I stop down the road a bit get dressed to do a lil speed scouting and hit the woods were I seen the Bucks come from. Bingo !!!!!! I found an open area just loaded with white oaks and hickory trees still producing mast . Game on !!!!!! I find a tree on top of the ridge by 3 I’m set up on top of a well used runway. 3:30 deer start moving about 40 yards or so down the ridge that I can see. I’m watching does feed just enjoying being in the woods. Thinking to myself how nice ........then I hear a grunt . 2 does that we’re feeding flees the area. There he is , I can see the white of his rack. At this point it’s surreal. I thought he was feeding , but later I find he was working scrape that I couldn’t see. He turns and starts walking slowly towards my tree up the ridge. I know now that this is a mature buck, he follows the runway up the ridge within 10-15 feet of my tree. Bow in my hand waiting on him to pass so I could get a quartering away shot. The shot will be to my right, I swing my bow over my tether and my foot slips as I’m moving for the shot. No that just didn’t happen........ I thought for sure he would have busted me , but he didn’t . It’s was like he didn’t have a care in the world. I regain my footing start to draw my bow back and I realize I can’t draw because my tether was to high to shoot to my right. What a dumb mistake!!!!!!! I wished I had practice more shooting from a tree. All I could do at this point is watch as a shooter buck walked away.......he walked behind my tree about 20 yards and worked another scrape I didn’t know was there. Brush was far to thick for a shot there. After he moved on I watched several more deer come about half way up the ridge and feed on the white acorns. I stayed to well after dark before I could get down and head in for the night. I could hardly sleep that night with anticipation of the morning hunt . Woke up to a heavy rain storm.......ugh !!!!!! Was able to hunt the same tree the next afternoon, no shooters but lots of different deer coming and going till well after dark. However I noticed most all the deer would hold up about 40-50 yards away from the top of the ridge. So I decided it may be better if I move down the ridge . The next day I waited till after 2 pm , quietly made my way to the area I had seen all the deer hang up from the days before . I came trough the woods from the down wind side . I don’t play the wind that often because of using scentlok......which I have used long before I heard of a saddle ,but thats another story. Set up my tree over looking a fresh scrape. It wasn’t my point to setup on the scrape it’s just where I had seen the most deer. I felt like I was really close to a bedding area, so I took my time up the tree and settling in . Just as the days before I didn’t have a long wait , a lil button buck came in with a much larger doe . They hung around feeding on browse and the white acorns seems like an hour or so until I could no longer see them. I pull out my grunt tube just to see what would happen, I have never been much on deer calling but much to my surprise a handsome 4 point comes up the ridge to investigate . He had a very odd looking rack. I thought for sure he would bust me because he was feeding but also smelling along the area where I had walked in , which lead him to my tree. When he got to the area my bow had been laying while I was setting my tree up , you could tell he got hung up . It’s amazing to watch how keen a deers sence of smell really is. He was hung up under my tree seemed like forever, standing there starring into the woods. Almost if he had hit a brick wall. I guess he felt it was okay because he returned to browsing around . Shortly after he noticed the doe and buttonbuck and the chase was on !!!!! She lead that lil buck in circles all over that ridge. I found it very amusing. Of course buy this time dark was upon us. I had to head to work the next morning so I removed my stepps as I repelled down the tree, not knowing when I would be able to hunt again.
Then next week was a busy one at work , but I knew just as soon as I could get a day to hunt where I was headed. It was killing me because driving to and from work I’m seeing rut activity everywhere I look. I fear that once again I’m going to miss out on hunting during the rut. Talking to the company man I find out we don’t anything to do after we finish the job we on, so chances are good that I can still hit the woods while the rut is full swing. Time to get busy and wrap this job up !!!!!! The week passes very quickly as my anticipation builds, the day comes I’m able to leave work in enough time for a afternoon hunt . So head home to grab my gear and head to the woods. I get to my area about 3 o’clock by 3:45 I’m set up and settled in. Really not sure what I may see because it’s so late before getting set up. I wanted to have my stepps in the tree mainly for the next morning. I know the days prior deer seem to start moving about 3:30ish so I was afraid that I may have spooked them. However I wasn’t sitting there very long when I seen movement on the other side of the ridge trough the woods. Im watching closely when I see the white of his horns , immediately I grab my bow. Just the way he was moving in very cautious I knew he had to be a lil older than the deer I seen the days before. He was so cautious I thought maybe he seen me move or winded me ..........however I was downwind from him. I know sometimes on ridges with draws as deep as this the wind can swirl. As he makes his way to the same level of the ridge I’m at and steps out into the open he looks straight up at me. He stares at me for a moment, then does the fake out head bob. I’m blown away !!!! I’m thinking to myself how did this guy know I was there. So many deer before him and none of them had any idea I was there but this guy picked me out immediately!!!!!! I can feel my heart racing in my chest. Im thinking another shooter that I’m going to miss out on. This whole time he is slowly walking closer to my tree still giving me the fake head bob. I couldn’t believe then next thing he does , he turns broadside to me and starts feeding on browse.........slowly moving towards the scrape. His head is down behind a tree, it’s now or never . I draw my bow it barely hits the back wall before my 20 yard pin is locked on this mystical buck. Next thing I know I see and hear my g5 montec hitting its intended target. Almost as in slow motion is his coat ruffled were I believe my arrow hit him. I watched as he leaped into a full run, very careful to make a mental note of where he ran. Then I grab my phone open onX maps to mark the location he ran. At this point I’m questioning myself did I hit him......doubt always enters my mind even after just seeing it take place. I guess it just happened so fast. I stop take a deep breath and think what should I do ......should I get down and trail him??? Or should I back off so I don’t push him any further and wait it out . Look at the time it’s 4:38pm . We have about another 30-45 mins of day light. It’s about 30 degrees out I decide that due to the temperatures. I’ll start tracking in the morning. I quietly repel out of my tree walk to the find my arrow, which is buried about ten inches in the ground. Pull it out the ground to see it’s coated with bright blood. Verified a good hit , it appeared to have white hair around where my arrow hit the ground. No blood that I could see on the ground. It was hard to walk away but I felt like it would be the best thing to do. I turned and went the opposite way the deer ran to get out of the woods.
Couldn’t wait for the sun to come up the next morning!!!'!!! I got to my stand location at 8am started tracking. Really couldn’t find much blood on the ground, so I followed my line I made on my onX maps to the last place I thought I heard him. I couldn’t believe it there he was in the first place he bedded. 100 yards and 2 feet from my stand. It was 8:07am. Now I only have to figure out how I’m going to get this deer 200 yard and 160 feet deep up the ridge. Ugh !!!!!!
Sorry for this being so long but I felt it was necessary so you could understand the way I must hunt. My life evolves around my job and I don’t have much time for myself. That being said I just have to take what I can get and make the best of the time I do have. That’s one of the first things that attracted me to hunting from a saddle. Lite weight, mobile and can be very quite. Between John Eberharts books, dvds and saddlehunter.com I have the tools I need to be a successful deer hunter. I have learned a lot from this seasons hunt. Hopefully someone else can learn from this.
Oh by the way this is my first decent buck, I know he’s not the stud that a lot of you hunt. For me he’s an accomplishment. He also had a scar on his top right jaw that looks like a Broadhead, that maybe why he was looking so hard in the trees and being so careful. I have included a photo of my onX maps so you can see where my 2 trees were and see my line of where I thought I heard him last . Of course I dropped a pin of where he bedded his last time. Thanks to everyone on this site for sharing great info!!!!!!!! Hope y’all happy hunting!!!!!!!!
 

20ftup

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
430
Awesome buck. Congratulations. What state?


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