It is so good when plans come together! So far, the 2012 Deer Season has been very good to myself and one of the best hunting partners a person could have.
Don Bertram is perhaps one of the best deer hunters I know. In my estimation, he has the most unique knack for looking at a piece of property and determining a plan to harvest a whitetail deer…particularly a mature buck. One of the properties that we currently hunt provided many initial challenges, but Don used an approach of “hunt, observe, and move” to develop a plan to meet a large buck on its own turf. In early November, Don was able to harvest a very nice deer by being patient, adapting to what he observed, and not being afraid to take bold steps to move stands to get into a position to harvest this nice animal.
|Don Bertram and his 2012 Archery Buck|
Don caught this buck in the frenetic beginning of the whitetail rut known as the chase phase. Through the course of a late afternoon, Don was able to observe multiple mature deer as they actively chased and pursued does. It was one of those magical afternoons in which Don was able to observe one of the most anticipated events in the whitetail season…..bucks running back and forth like crazy trying to find or corral a “hot” doe.
I so much enjoy archery hunting for deer. We are blessed here in the state of Kentucky with a very healthy herd of whitetails which lends itself to very liberal harvest limits. With just a little bit of effort, anyone with a desire to harvest at least one animal should be able to punch their tag and have a very successful season.
My season had success very quickly, with two deer being taken within the first ten days of the archery season. On the evening of November 9th I found myself perched in a tree hoping to see rut activity such as Don had witnessed a few days prior.
As it neared 4:00 p.m., I was able to detect deer moving in the drainage below my stand. I was able to see the deer move up the hill on the other side of me and slowly disappear out of sight. As the end of the hunting day quickly approached, I again began to hear deer moving in the drainage below me. The area was a dense thicket with my view of the area being very limited. As the deer approached I could tell that there were definitely more than two and they were quickly approaching my stand location. As I prepared for their approach, I began to see the doe that was in the lead. She quickly passed through my shooting lane and continued her march toward the field’s edge some seventy-five yards away. As the other two deer approached, a fight of sorts broke out….small trees and brush were moving and I could hear the ground erupt under the feet the battling bucks. One buck broke off and ran to a point that I could see him clearly. He quickly threw up his tail and left, having been successfully challenged by the other buck. The remaining buck began trailing the path of the doe and grunting as he proceeded through the thicket and ultimately into my shooting lane. With just a brief stop at 15 yards, I was able to come to full draw and then my arrow was on its way. The buck turned, ran about sixty yards, and I could then hear the distinct crash of the deer as it ran its last steps.
|My 2012 Buck|
As it turned out, this deer had been named the unicorn buck by the landowner. The buck had previously been seen with a pronounced tine going straight out over his left eye from the base of the left antler. He was at one time 6 x 4, but now a 4 x 4, having broken off the unique four inch tine protruding over his left eye, as well as the left G4, sometime prior to that evening.
I am by no means a trophy hunter. I truly believe that the hunting sports are characterized by the size of the experience…not by the size of the animal! This mature whitetail buck certainly gave me a thrill and I am very proud of this close encounter archery harvest!!
My 2012 season holds four archery deer to my credit….I hope to add to that some in the late winter.
As I type this on the 12th of November, I lament that my season is now on hold until late December. I can only hope that when I again get afield in about five weeks that I can make some more memories with my good friends!