Crack, snap, crunch, came the sounds from the open woods just down from Daniel Giles’ tree stand. Giles peered into the dark woods trying to catch a glimpse of the deer making the noise in the woods. The sounds were most assuredly made by a deer and hopefully made by a rutting buck. But would the deer, or buck expose himself before dark, just long enough for a shot?
Giles joined his dad, Mark, Cousin Justin Giles and Uncle Mike on a deer hunt smack dab in the middle of the rut in Lauderdale County during the last gun season. Though the young hunter had harvested several deer, he had yet to kill a nice racked buck. The expectant hunters were greeted with 15 to 20 miles per hour brisk winds and nothing much had happened during the hours leading up to sunset.
And then it was gone in a flash. The wind died down in an instant and a chill filled the air as the sun set in the west. “Get ready” I texted to the guys. “They should move pretty quick now.”No sooner had I sent the text than a deer popped into view for Daniel Giles. And then another and another.
“Right after Uncle Mike sent that text the deer started pouring into the field,” said young Giles. Things were really heating up as the hot does were there. The only thing missing was a rutting buck to appear, and hopefully that would happen before dark.
Crash, crack, slam, a rutting buck crashed into the field like a mad bull chasing the does back and forth. As the does scattered in all directions trying to escape as the buck pursued one and then another unsuccessfully.
They were running so fast that I couldn’t get my crosshairs on him before he chased one doe back down into the woods,” said Giles. “I could hear them running back and forth and I heard him grunting at her as he chased the doe.”
Wondering if a big buck would ever happen for him, Giles thought about his grunt call. He quickly pulled out the grunt and started grunting. In seconds an enraged buck charged up into the field and slid to a halt directly in front of the excited hunter.
“I had my rifle up and when he stopped I put it on him and squeezed the trigger,” Giles said. Unfortunately the buck ran out of the patch like he was shot out of a cannon, with not a sign of being hit. I heard the shot as Daniel’s 30-06 bellowed on the mountain across from me. Minutes later his text came, ‘I think I got a good buck.’
I told him to wait for me and I’d help him find any sign of a hit, including blood or hair. We did find a speck of blood just before the buck left the patch but that was it. Paralleling the patch in the direction that the buck had run I found a little blood about 60 yards from the point of impact. I followed it a few feet farther and it looked like the spigot had opened up as blood was sprayed all over the leaves and the trail was very wide.
The buck was dead on his feet and didn’t even know it. It ran straight downhill leaving a trail like a water hose had been sprayed as he ran into bushes and trees. The buck ran until he was out of blood and we found him headed downhill with his rack lodged between two trees.
Young Giles had indeed made good on his shot and his first rack buck was history! I’d been there when his dad killed his first deer and was glad that I could share such an event in his life as well. Harvesting a nice racked buck and making memories with family is hard to beat and surely something that will be etched into the youngster’s cherished memories forever.
Contact Mike Giles at
601-917-3898 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org