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Almost Kissed a Doe

Another long weekend of hunting with little movement in the woods.  The only activity I am seeing is right away in the morning and in the last 30 minutes of the evening.  One of the guys in my party saw nothing all weekend while another saw only a couple of does.  Makes it tough to sit there for hours on end when squirrels and birds are the only things you are seeing.

There’s lots of scraping going on in the woods.  Our strategy for the next 10 days or so is to hunt these scrapes.  We believe that the key to being successful pre-rut is to be mobile.  We found some huge scrape trains so we decided to try our luck hunting these last night.

I found my scrapes on a trail we had cut through the woods in order to watch a ditch were we photographed many deer.  Here is an example of a buck in that ditch.

Last September we built a ground blind out of downed trees and pine branches on top of the ditch just about where this camera is positioned.  Saturday morning one of the guys hunting with me said the stand was worthless because anything coming down the trail would be on top of me before I had a chance to draw my bow.  I figured the deer would run in the ditch and not on the trail as it provided more cover.  So I thought I would give it a try and ignore the advice.

I got into the stand at about 3:45 yesterday.  At 6:05pm I looked over my shoulder and noticed two doe coming down the trail.  My buddy was right.  These deer were coming right at me.  I hunkered down in the blind to see what would happen.  Earlier I had loaded up my scent wicks to the point where even I could smell it so I figured I was well covered.  What I didn’t anticipate is that scent would make at least this doe very curious.  She walked to within 3 feet of me.  We were looking at each other with only the pine branches of the blind between us.

I was trying to breath without her hearing me.  I had netting over my face so she couldn’t see my features.  I am sitting there starring at this doe breathing with my mouth hanging wide.  I laugh every time I think of that picture.  Now I was concerned what she would do when she finally figured out that I was not a good thing for her and living a full life.  Would she charge me or turn and run?  I didn’t know who was more nervous, me or her.  I had never been this close to a wild deer in my life.

After about 15 seconds of this stair down, she figured things out.  With a huge wheeze (had there not been a pine branch between us I am sure I would have felt the spray) she turned and ran taking the other doe (who had been hanging back about 5 yards) with her.  I stayed frozen until I saw them both disappear into the woods.  Interesting enough they ran until they felt they where in cover and must have turned to watch me because when I thought they were gone I relaxed and sat back in the stand.  Suddenly the trees above me exploded with snorting and wheezing as these two doe felt the need to tell very other deer within 500 yards that a big bad hunter was in the woods.

Since these deer set off every alarm they could in the area I was hunting, I decided to call it a night.  I have said it before, I love how close to these animals you get when you are bow hunting.  However, that was a bit too close!!  We have decided to figure out a better strategy for hunting those scrapes.

PS.  I was hunting in full ScentLok clothing that my wife made for me when she heard the price of buying the clothes at the store.  I was a bit skeptical of hunting clothes that cost $75 to make (coat, pants, shirt, hood and face shield).  However, the ScentLok fabric that she purchased at the fabric store worked perfectly in this close encounter!!

1 comment to Almost Kissed a Doe

  • On the fact that your going to hunt pre-rut scrapes first you have to know what kind of scrape your hunting over.There are basically two types of scrapes “Buck” and “Community”both I think are huntable this time of year(transition period between pre rut and seek and chase).The bigger scrapes are the community scrapes where many deer visits from now and then including does.In my experince these are the ones you want to hunt all day morning to night.The “buck”scrapes are usally hit by bucks in the morning on the way to his bedroom or evening on the way to feed.My opinion I would hunt those spots all day long too but if time is a factor I would focus on these types of scrapes first.

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