STRIKE A POSE
The doe came flying by me at full throttle as she passed under my stand. She hit the brakes, turned and looked over her shoulder. I immediately grabbed my bow, stood and drew. She had to be hot and what followed would surely be a giant buck. She looked back for the second time and then turned her body 90 degrees and bolted down the hill into the thicket. The hog like grunting was soon to follow. It grew louder as the buck approached my stand location. He was coming hard looking for his new girlfriend who was obviously playing hard to get. He broke out into the open in the exact place the doe had emerged from, head down not caring about anything else but the intoxicating scent she was leaving.
He was a good buck, not a giant, but a good one in anybody’s book. I had been told in my youth if you don’t have to try and score it on the hoof, he is a shooter. By this, I mean I did not have to talk myself into shooting this buck. I was at full draw and the buck was 50 yards out and coming straight for one of my 20-yard shooting lanes. He was nose down coming hard without even looking for danger, searching only for the doe that was obviously hot. I got the pin on him when he was 30 yards out coming from my left. I let out a low bleat. He did not stop. I let out a louder bleat. Still, he did not stop. As he approached my stand, I whistled. He still did not stop. I could see the steam coming from his nostrils as he passed under me. “Yaaaaaaa,” I yelled trying to get him to stop. He exited my set just as fast as he had come in. I came off of full draw only for a moment. Suddenly, I heard a sound like no other I had heard in the woods. It sounded like a bulldozer with no motor headed my way.
Again, I went to full draw as 3 different shooters came into view, noses down to the ground all bunched up in a ball rolling my way. I started yelling when they were 30 yards out. Not one stopped or even gave me a look. They looked like bumper cars bouncing off each other as they passed under my stand. I yelled one more time as they quickly moved out of range. I struggled to stay at full draw. In the process of turning around, I accidentally bumped the release trigger on the tree, sending the arrow at full force 15 feet off the ground and sinking it into an old oak. It hit with such force the lighted nock broke off and dropped to the ground. I hung up my Mathews, sat down and just stared at the tunnel in the brush where they had just gone. I shook my head as I grabbed another Full Metal Jacket arrow and put it on the string and rest. “WELL, THAT’S JUST FRICKIN’ DANDY,” I said out loud. Nobody is going to believe this one.
I relived the 2 minutes of heart pounding adrenaline over and over again in my head as I walked back out to the truck. I sat on the tail gate sipping a hot cup of soup literally talking out loud to myself. The conversation continued while I checked my sights on my bow by launching a couple arrows at my target. I had tried everything to stop those bucks. They had such a nose full of that damn doe that I think they would have run me over if I had been on the ground. That’s when it hit me. It’s November 3. The rut is on, and they are filling their noses with hot doe.
I’ve got to make them lose the trail, the scent trail that is. I had put out a little James Valley Full Rut scent before I got into the stand this morning to maybe bring in a searching buck, but what if I . . . I set about cutting a 5-foot piece of cord off one of my bow hoist lines. I then cut off 5 one-foot sections and tied them onto the 5-foot section in the middle, thus leaving ten six-inch pieces hanging from the end. With a razor knife, I split each six-inch section to expose the many fibers. I held it up. It looked like a cord with a shredded rag tied onto the end. “That will do the trick,” I thought to myself. I laid the drag on the ground and shuffled through my field dressing pack, finally coming out with a one-gallon zip lock bag. I picked up the drag and dropped the shredded end into zip lock bag. Once again, I went into the back seat of my Tundra looking for my plastic box that I had stored my scent in. I grabbed a bottle of Hunzingers Buck urine, a jar of James Valley Wall Hanger Dominate buck scent, a bottle of Hunzingers hot doe urine, and a jar of James Valley Full Rut doe scent. I poured a liberal amount of both bottles of urine into the bag, letting it sit for a second, so the fibers of the drag were completely saturated. Then, I opened both jars of the James Valley gland lures and, with a stick, put a marble size glob of the stinkin’ jell into the zip lock bag. I closed the bag and massaged the whole stinky mess into the end of the drag. I opened up the bag and took a whole nose full of this mixed mess. It almost made me gag. I quickly sealed up the bag. “That’s enough to gag a skunk,” I said to myself.
It was now 1:30 p.m. I grabbed my pack, bow, and the new drag and set back out toward a stand that was in a bowl end of a draw that was located in the immediate area where the bucks had pushed the doe a few hours before. It took almost an hour to get to the stand, scanning each little piece of real estate as I looked for the bedded doe and her suitors. With the stand in view 30 yards out, I pulled the stinking drag out of the zip lock bag. Starting at the base of the tree, I pulled the drag in circles around the tree being sure to overlap the scent lines putting it back in the bag now and then for a good soaking. I then tied the stink about 3 feet off the ground on the upwind side of the stand location and climbed into the stand. A couple of hours passed without any action. It was cold with no wind. The sun had been working on the scent drag, transporting its rank smell 25 feet up into my stand. “Wow, that stuff smells,” I thought to myself.
Around an hour before dark, the doe that had bedded at the other end of the draw had grown tired of being bumped from her bed from bucks and headed out into the field to feed. Two of the four bucks were still with her, not letting her feed. They kept harassing her. A third buck entered the scene. He looked to be a 3-year-old 8 pointer coming all the way across the field on a full run. He went right up and tried to mount her and that’s when all hell broke loose. One of the bucks ran into the side of him almost knocking him down. She bolted and headed right into the other end of the draw I was sitting in. I set down my binoculars and grabbed my bow. The crashing of the underbrush was loud. I knew she was on the run again. I stood, shaking, catching a glimpse of them every now and then. “Come on,” I said to myself, as I was losing shooting light. The doe was running back and forth across the draw 70 yards out. Suddenly, she whirled on a full run and headed my way. Under the stand she passed. The bucks still stayed in the brush confused on where she had gone. It only took a few seconds for the bucks to get back on her trail. Down the draw at me they came, noses to the ground. I went to full draw as they approached. Searching for my peep sight that was nowhere to be seen, I had lost light. It was still legal shooting time, but the draw was thick, and darkness fell into the area fast like someone flipped a switch and turned out the lights. I pointed the bow at the horizon trying desperately to see the peep sight on my Z7 Mathews. I could see the fiber optic pins but could not get enough light in the peep to shoot. The bucks did exactly as I wanted. Hitting my overlapping scent trails, they stalled right under my stand. By now, I had let off my draw and just watched as the bucks desperately tried to locate her scent. The whole scene was over in about 30 seconds.
One of the bucks took off running to my left. The second buck ran back up the draw backtracking his former path. The third buck stood 15 yards away grunting, lip curling, trying to locate his girlfriend. It was completely dark as he ran around my tree and the bottom of the draw, finally locating her trail and locking back on to the chase. My plan had worked to perfection. All except the fatal blow of the arrow striking a buck’s rib cage. I had flooded the area with so much scent that they had lost her trail, even though it had only lasted 30 seconds. I could have arrowed any of the three if I had just a little more light. The walk back to the truck was a good one. Although I could not pat myself on the back, I still gave myself an AT A BOY. The big boys were on their feet. I still had 7 days of vacation left, and now I know how to GET THEM TO STRIKE A POSE!
SEE ‘YA AFTER THE RUT………..