MERIDIAN — Crack, snap, crunch, sounded an unseen deer in the thicket to my left. All of the does in the patch stood at full alert, staring in the direction of the hidden suitor. Friend or foe, they’d know soon, and I relaxed for just a second as I saw the deer emerge from the thicket and walk through the trees. The does didn’t bolt and that was a good thing for me. The buck with massive antlers stopped perhaps 40 yards from the other deer, still concealed partially in the woods, and stopped dead behind a tree with only his rack sticking out the front side and his mid-section and rear behind the tree.
Seconds turned to minutes as the wise old buck surveyed the situation, perhaps pondering what to do. I eased my crosshairs just in front of the tree waiting for that trophy to make one more step forward. The tension was mounting and muscles were aching as I strained to keep my old rifle at the ready. Finally in an instant the buck whirled and trotted away. I centered the crosshairs on the buck’s vitals just before it disappeared into the thicket and squeezed off a shot.
Ka-boom roared the .444 as fire flew out of the barrel and the buck disappeared like a vapor. Minutes later I was looking for blood but none was to be found. Forty yards into the woods I found a speck of blood on the trail he had taken. A few yards further the blood spots got bigger and bigger until the floodgates opened and the blood trail looked like it had been sprayed out of a fire hose. My final day hunt ended at the feet of another trophy buck only 100 yards from impact. The buck had fallen on the final day of the 2013 season and made my year.
While most hunters have gone back to work and our area is wrapped in a chilly deep freeze, the fortunate few hunters able to remain in the woods are getting glimpses of bucks of all sizes and ages. Many of those bucks are monsters, yes trophies that haven’t been seen in the daylight this year.
While there are a few still chasing does, most have resorted to looking for food to help build up their strength, sapped by weeks of chasing does in estrous. Reports have come in from all around of bucks hitting the ground.
Mitchell Moffett made a late afternoon hunt this week to a location that he’d not hunted all year and struck pay dirt. A nice buck strode into sight sporting a rocking chair rack at last light and Moffett took full advantage of the situation. The buck was with a few other deer but Moffett knew what to do as there was precious little time left in the day.
Moffett centered the crosshairs on the buck, squeezed the trigger and another trophy Mississippi whitetail buck was history. The last minute buck sported 13 points and made for a fitting end to the last week of the regular season deer hunt.
If you’re still looking to fill that tag, then don’t delay, pick up that smokepole, or bow, or 45/70 and head to the woods this weekend. You just might harvest the buck of your life.
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org