Sharing my hunting spot with company
Saturday was hot, an unusual Indian summer day after more than a month of below normal temperatures. I knew the high temperatures would prevent the deer from being as active as they normally would be this time of year, so I waited until almost three in the afternoon to head to my hunting spot across from strawberry hill.
Driving into the south place and past Damon's house, I noticed Dixie, his bloodhound, running around the yard. I thought nothing of it and she pretty much ignored me after a couple of obligatory barks. Continuing on through the farm, I saw a couple does out traveling about. Perhaps the deer were moving, in spite of the heat.
My plan was to walk the timber line down Strawberry Hill, cross the creek, and continue to the top of the next hill where the deer travel from the cedar pasture to the hardwood timber, or go on into O.B.'s cornfield, which serves well as a food plot for me.
When I got to the top of Strawberry Hill, I could see deer milling about the cedar pasture everywhere. I dropped down behind a rose bush to plan my next move. I had no "next move." If I moved at all, I would be spotted and spook every deer in the area. Knocking an arrow just in case, I decided this would be my hunting spot for the afternoon. I made myself as comfortable as a person can while snuggling up to a rose bush while I placed my grunt call, rattling antlers, and bow, all within easy reach.
In case something had seen me, I waited for several minutes to make my first call. The sun was warm on my back and the light breeze was blowing from right to left. If the deer came in from in front of me, my scent would be carried safely away. It was not a perfect hunting spot, nor the one I wanted to use, but with circumstances being what they were, it would work.
The first time I rattled my calling antlers, I was startled by what I saw. On the opposite hill, where I had been staring and seeing nothing, deer suddenly appeared. I know they were bedded down in the grass or laying behind a cedar tree, but it was almost as though they materialized out of thin air.
A young buck looked my way from near the top of the hill. Two does and three fawns walked out into the open from behind a group of trees. Suddenly, I noticed a nice buck, near the creek, off to my left. I would need to move him across the creek and up the hill to get a shot at him.
I used my grunt call; three short grunts. The does, fawns, and small buck took off like something was after them. The larger buck, still on the other side of the creek, started toward me. He would stop occasionally but would start toward me again with a gentle grunt on my call. He was looking for a fight.
When he stopped directly below me, I could see he was a nice symmetrical ten-point. He was not an old deer, but was fat and in shape for the breeding season. His neck bulged with muscle as he looked up the hill trying to see where the deer that was grunting was at.
When things were looking good like he might cross over to my side, he glanced to my right, lost interest in my call, turned, and walked up the opposite hill where I originally planned to hunt. No amount of grunting or rattling would turn him around.
I slowly looked off to my right to try to find what may have changed his mind. Perhaps a huge buck was standing up the hill and behind me. No, it was Dixie. With long floppy ears, drooling lips, and a happy tail thrashing the area, she watched with great interest as the buck headed over the hill.
We both enjoyed the hunt but I am sure I would have enjoyed it more if she would have stayed home.
Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.