Hunting Season’s Grand Finale
We finally got a good break from classes for our Thanksgiving five day weekend. My dad was still in town, and we still had a lot of deer tags to fill. It was a decently prosperous weekend. It was the last 5 days I was going to get to hunt this year so I really just wanted to fill tags to fill the freezer. Fortunately I had a great Saturday/Sunday and had one of the most memorable hunts of my life.
I took this 9 point Mule deer with my bow in Central South Dakota. I also took a white-tailed doe within 20 minutes of this deer. The white-tailed doe came in minutes after I sat down in my treestand and she stood 25 yards out and gave me a perfect shot. After that I stayed in the treestand and a mere 10 minutes later I saw 6 mule deer does moving up the draw towards me.
I readied myself for another doe kill when I heard this loud “quack.” So here I am, in a treestand with 6 does moving towards me and I’m searching all over for this damn duck that is quacking really loud. It sounded like it was right next to me. Then I realized “Holy crap, that’s my dad’s ringtone!” Somehow (we don’t know) his phone got into my coat pocket and they were calling it to try to find it. I got it shut up and looked up to see the does were all staring right at me. They trotted off up the hill and disappeared over the ridge. I sat back down thinking the hunt was over. 10 minutes later, again, another deer was moving up the draw towards me.
This time I could see antlers so I readied myself to shoot to the north. I couldn’t make out the antlers very well until he was 40 yards out and stepped into a small clearing. Needless to say, my whole body tensed and began to convulse as the adrenaline surged through me. He came straight into me, never giving me a shot. He stood directly under my stand and then moved straight away from me to the west. I managed to get turned to where I could shoot west but he never gave me a shot. When he got right about to where that doe was, I mimicked the sound of a doe to get him to turn. He turned 3/4 and I let the arrow fly.
I knew I had hit a little low as he took off. I sat in the stand for a while in hopes that he would go bed and pass, but when I went to look for him, I couldn’t find him before it got dark. The next morning we went out and found the blood trail and after some intense tracking (thanks to Nathan my 10 year old cousin), we found him not too far from where I had shot him, he had just circled back.
I was pretty stoked to end not only the season, but what might be the end of my South Dakota hunting with this deer. I wasn’t going to shoulder mount it, but I was peer pressured by my family to mount it.
My dad also shot a nice buck with his bow, and rifle. My Uncle John took a nice buck with his rifle on his last day of hunting too.