"The Rut is On!!"
"Cruising For Does"
"Will's First Hunt Of The Season"
As the sun settled to the West, Will (my future step son), and I quickly made our way down the trail......the leaves unfortunately crackling under our footsteps. We cautiously entered what we call the "hunt zone", a mere 250 yards from the back door. Two different worlds to say the least. We were in our hunt mode now.....being as quiet as we could, and moving slowly, but deliberately toward our objective. This would be Will's first time out this season, long overdue!!
"Step for the green patches, it's quieter", I told him. Will, covered in camouflage from head to toe, eyes peering out from his mask, quietly stopped, looked at me like he had stepped on a twig, and answered....."o....k". I couldn't tell if he was "into it" yet, but was hoping for good things to come. Tonight was his night, I would teach, and hopefully he would learn from me. We made our way to the spot finally, and settled in for what we hoped would be an eventful evening hunt. Will readied himself, placing my bow next to him on the ground. He wanted to give the traditional longbow a try, so I let him use mine. The night before, we shot for an hour, and he was a natural with the longbow. He hit the target within a few shots and showed that he had what it took. I could see and hear his excitement as he was telling his mother (Who also shot the target her first time as well), about his shooting abilities.....:)
As the clock ticked away, with about 45 minutes left to hunt, I noticed movement 200 yards down the treeline and to our left. I glassed the area, and noticed a BIG doe feeding, but facing away from us. "Will, there's a deer feeding in front of us, but it's way out there." Will perked up when he heard those words...."Can you tell if it's a buck or a doe yet?", he said excitedly. "Can't tell yet, but here....take the bino's and check it out." He quickly moved to my position and took the bino's and glassed the area.....He whispered...."I see it, and yes, it's facing away from us." Handing the binoculars back to me, he stood next to me, awaiting my words. "Let's just give it a moment, something's bound to happen."
Twenty minutes went by, daylight slowly fading, but the deer was still 200 yards away. Suddenly Will points to the right, and excitedly whispers...."Somethings running across the field!" Feeling his excitement, I stand up all the way and quickly glass the field.....Instantly, a huge buck is in my view and I know this is a BIG buck by the size of his antlers!! I whisper loudly...."He's running the does, the rut is ON man!" Now it was getting excited and anything could happen. We were both pumped and I prayed that the doe would bring the big boy close enough for Will to take a shot. We watched in awe as he and another smaller buck ran the does around in the field, but not coming into range. Darkness closed in as the deer kept running around the field. They came to within 60 yards, but to our dismay the big boy never came any closer. One of the bigger does winded us and gave the alert, running back and forth through the tall grass, but keeping her eyes on us. The buck could of cared less at this point, as he fed on acorns close by. We stayed put until we could barely see the silhouettes in the darkness.
By the faint moonlight, we made our way back to the house, our steps quickened with the excitement of what may come in the days ahead. Will was thankful for the opportunity, and I for the time with him, teaching him the ways of the outdoors. He's a great kid, and I'm sure he'll be a great hunter once he gets his first deer. As they say, "All it takes is once, after that....they're hooked!" Maybe he'll be dreaming of that moment tonight....Only time will tell.
Thank you Lord, for the time in your wonderful outdoors....and the bonus of seeing not one, but two....beautiful bucks!! Please Lord, keep the fire for the hunt going strong in Will, Amen!