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Help Kill My Buck, Win the Rack: Part II

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November 05, 2012

Help Kill My Buck, Win the Rack: Part II

By Dave Hurteau

And the winner is…the buck, for now. If I’d had enough light to legally shoot, I’d have tagged him last week and given half of the rack to maynardtl8, who was the first to suggest mock scrapes, and the other half to finnyk, who suggested I stick with my first stand (S1). Here’s what happened.

Between wind, work, and kids, I couldn’t get back in the spot for a while, but in the meantime, I did get out at midday to make several mock scrapes around S1, as well as scent trails (one along the creek and one along the edge of the field), leading from the south down to S1. When I finally got a huntable wind (southeast), I walked in from the north, checked my mock scrapes, and could see they’d been hit. So I settled into S1.

The action was slow until about 10 minutes before the end of shooting light when a doe and a fawn appeared in the field out of nowhere right in front of S2. Then I heard a hoof stamp the ground just to the south along the creek. A doe had spotted me while I was glassing the deer in the field. She stood staring at me…and staring…and staring, until after all the legal shooting light had faded, she flicked her tail and finally starting tiptoeing her way toward me. I didn’t want to climb down with her so close, so I hung up my bow and waited.

She took her time. When she eventually walked into my shooting lane east of the stand, she had almost fully morphed from a deer to a dark blob. That’s when I heard, Uurp! I looked south and saw a much bigger blob moving in. Through the binoculars I could make out the basic frame of the rack. It was him.

The leaves suddenly crackled as he spotted the doe and pushed her out into the field--where they both caught my wind and bolted in opposite directions. She ran out into the middle of the field, stopped, and blew for about 10 minutes nonstop. He crashed back into the woods, blowing two or three times as he barged up a black hemlock ridge.

And that was that.

But it ain’t over. I’ll be back after him this week and as before, if I tag him with your strategy, I’ll send you the rack. So, if, given this update, you still like your original plan, you don’t need to do anything. If you want to update your recommendations, go for it in the comment section below.

Comments (25)

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from Half-of-two wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I say you hole up in S2, but place your decoy on the east side of the stand, instead of the west side. Plan for an all-day sit, but pray for a morning kill! Best of luck!

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from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Are you planning to use bow gear only to take him or will muzzleloader be opening up soon? I ask because obviously the tactics might change a little.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Looks to me like a great stand location for a west wind. (should be your prevailing wind) Dropped scent canisters along the treeline and set up a stand north of the scrape. Let every buck in the woods think there is a hot doe in the field. As you put out your scent, spray your boots with doe estrous and track it back to your stand. If you get a visual, seal the deal with a slight doe bleat. I would hesitate using a decoy so set your stand 20 yards back from the edge of the field and let the buck think the doe is hiding in the woods.

Any buck worth shooting would never enter that field on a n east wind in daylight. Just my humble opinion.

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from Reynol40 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

If the same condition present themselves I'd get aggressive and move closer to where you believe he is bedded. Rutting activity is really starting to ramp up, so you might be able to catch him off guard when he rises early from his bed to go check does!

Rex

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from gen_27_3 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

You could also try hunting from the ground in a ghillie suit. Use the wind to your advantage and control your scent. Your buck is looking for does, so I would use estrous scent. Just sit in line with the creek crossing next to a tree or bush in between the creek and alfalfa field.

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from jdwood wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I would move closer to the SE corner of the field, placing your stand where you have a good view of the corner of the field as well as seeing where the buck may be traveling north along the creek towards the rubs.

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from jdwood wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Try to use some rattling antlers to coax him in a little earlier in the evening.

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from steve182 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I still like the buck standing over a bedded doe decoy(s). I suggest it to you because i'm too lazy for such a labor intensive set-up t it could work. I would do a lot of grunting and bleating with this set up, and don't forget to scent it up. Remember, one horn on the buck.

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from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Things here may be vastly different than they are in your neck of the woods, but if it's anything like here you're hunt is being ruined by that creek. (I'm fully assuming that like most bodies of water its moving in a north to south direction.) The reason the deer are approaching from this direction is that the cold air funneling down the creek offers the animals ample opportunity to smell what may be ahead of them. You'll find that hunting crosswind at the southeastern corner is your best bet. Refer to my first post

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hkinard12 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Sit all day in S1 clear a shooting lane to the field so that you can see where your first sighting of the buck was. Move your decoy down into the shooting lane. This way you can still see the buck if it comes up the trail to the scrapes or if it goes into the field it will see the decoy and go into your shooting lane.

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from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

*you can disregard all the typing snafu's =)

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from Douglas wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Though your art work is excellent, trying to discern how to get that buck this way requires a crystal ball.
Other than coming to your site and scoping it out myself, my suggestion is to dress up the scrapes with lots of "Mrs. Doe Pee", hang some scent canisters and sit in S1 all day.
Let someone else worry about the kids and work. As a sign in our camp says
"We interrupt this marriage for.. Hunting Season"!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Gardner wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

If at all possible I would try to hang amother stand to the north-west side of the creek crossing. In this case if you have the right wind you can get in without crossing trails and keep scent minimal. May this way you can get futher in and catch him a little before dark. Good Luck

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GrandSlamDreamer wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

It sounds to me like you have a slight wind issue, but there really isn't much you can do about that. I definitely wouldn't change anything from what you are doing now. The rut is in full blast, walk in with a drag of some doe p on it to catch anything that might be moving above the field and then sit tight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lindow66 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I had a similar setup before and I hung a stand about thirty yards off of the field in the inside corner of the field. The buck would come there to check out the field before last light.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

You know , if he busts you again your done for the year with him. I'd let it cool off for a bit and try to get him comming back through in the a.m. Pattern the does and you will find him

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jimmy Vickers wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

GET in between the creek and the scrapeline,and in between s1 and s2.Set up a pop up blind.This will cover your movement and scent.Spend every hour you can waiting.

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from johnjf wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

If there's any rain in the forcast I would sit in stand one because once that rain stops, I'm sure that buck will be back to freshen up that scrape.

If you can use scents, try using doe estrus and make a trail leading near your stand. That might get the buck coming in nose to the ground.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigWurm13 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I would set up in spot 1 and put the decoy heading in from the field towards the scrapes and rubs. The reason I would set up in Spot 1 and not spot 2 is because you have both the rubs and scrapes near that location.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoors4good wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I suggest putting doe estrous scent out on either side of stand one, with a dose of buck urine too between stand 1 and the creek. Get in the woods early in the afternoon. Rattle an hour before dark. Any self respecting buck will circle down wind to check out the commotion and pick up the scent before it gets a nose full of yours. The scent on either side should work with the prevailing wind and any air flow disturbance caused by the creek. This is how I tagged the buck you saw on my wall that I shot around the corner from your house, the setup was almost identical but out of necessatiy I'm real close to the creek.

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from Whitetail98 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I would say to either move your stand or set up a ground blind right where you have your "entry" arrow right along the field and the woods and about maybe 5 yds or so in. If the area that you labeled "brush" is really thick it might be their bedding area. They will also do their breeding in a very thick area so as to not draw the attention of other bucks. Im not trying to criticize you but I would recommend not checking or even going near ANY of the scrapes or rubs. If you really want to know what's hitting them try putting up trail cam. Also putting the stand/blind right where you enter will eliminate your scent being tracked all around the deer's travel and feeding routes. According to your picture, from where you enter in order to get to your stand you have to trek completely over their trails and basically through the buck's rubs and scrapes and their dusk feeding area. This will help cut down on your presence being known. You should be able to get a clear shot as he comes through. I hope you try this and it works!! And GOOD LUCK!!!!

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

All good stuff, fellas.
Buckhunter, I might have thought the same about a mature buck not coming in before dark on that wind--except that he'd already do so twice. Same wind both times I'd previously seen him in the field.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Also as season progresses and it gets closer to full rut, activity at those scrapes will likely be abandoned during daylight. Some food for thought if you're planning to do some hunting soon.

Good luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Get a flying squirrel!

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from Franksinthewoods wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Not sure if you use calls or not, but I've had pretty good luck using a buck grunt durring the rut. A few tiems usually if I was bored or irritated by not seeing anything I've blown on it more than I thought I should and called in some angry bucks. I called a buck heading in the opposite direction and had it turn around and come back to check me out. Unfortunately I was still-hunting with my bow and the only cover I had when he got within range was the camo I was wearing. It seems the doe bleats and grunts would work the best, but the buck grunts short and long seem to work the best for me.

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Post a Comment

from Half-of-two wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I say you hole up in S2, but place your decoy on the east side of the stand, instead of the west side. Plan for an all-day sit, but pray for a morning kill! Best of luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Are you planning to use bow gear only to take him or will muzzleloader be opening up soon? I ask because obviously the tactics might change a little.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Looks to me like a great stand location for a west wind. (should be your prevailing wind) Dropped scent canisters along the treeline and set up a stand north of the scrape. Let every buck in the woods think there is a hot doe in the field. As you put out your scent, spray your boots with doe estrous and track it back to your stand. If you get a visual, seal the deal with a slight doe bleat. I would hesitate using a decoy so set your stand 20 yards back from the edge of the field and let the buck think the doe is hiding in the woods.

Any buck worth shooting would never enter that field on a n east wind in daylight. Just my humble opinion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reynol40 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

If the same condition present themselves I'd get aggressive and move closer to where you believe he is bedded. Rutting activity is really starting to ramp up, so you might be able to catch him off guard when he rises early from his bed to go check does!

Rex

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gen_27_3 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

You could also try hunting from the ground in a ghillie suit. Use the wind to your advantage and control your scent. Your buck is looking for does, so I would use estrous scent. Just sit in line with the creek crossing next to a tree or bush in between the creek and alfalfa field.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdwood wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I would move closer to the SE corner of the field, placing your stand where you have a good view of the corner of the field as well as seeing where the buck may be traveling north along the creek towards the rubs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdwood wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Try to use some rattling antlers to coax him in a little earlier in the evening.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I still like the buck standing over a bedded doe decoy(s). I suggest it to you because i'm too lazy for such a labor intensive set-up t it could work. I would do a lot of grunting and bleating with this set up, and don't forget to scent it up. Remember, one horn on the buck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Things here may be vastly different than they are in your neck of the woods, but if it's anything like here you're hunt is being ruined by that creek. (I'm fully assuming that like most bodies of water its moving in a north to south direction.) The reason the deer are approaching from this direction is that the cold air funneling down the creek offers the animals ample opportunity to smell what may be ahead of them. You'll find that hunting crosswind at the southeastern corner is your best bet. Refer to my first post

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hkinard12 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Sit all day in S1 clear a shooting lane to the field so that you can see where your first sighting of the buck was. Move your decoy down into the shooting lane. This way you can still see the buck if it comes up the trail to the scrapes or if it goes into the field it will see the decoy and go into your shooting lane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

*you can disregard all the typing snafu's =)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Though your art work is excellent, trying to discern how to get that buck this way requires a crystal ball.
Other than coming to your site and scoping it out myself, my suggestion is to dress up the scrapes with lots of "Mrs. Doe Pee", hang some scent canisters and sit in S1 all day.
Let someone else worry about the kids and work. As a sign in our camp says
"We interrupt this marriage for.. Hunting Season"!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Gardner wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

If at all possible I would try to hang amother stand to the north-west side of the creek crossing. In this case if you have the right wind you can get in without crossing trails and keep scent minimal. May this way you can get futher in and catch him a little before dark. Good Luck

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GrandSlamDreamer wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

It sounds to me like you have a slight wind issue, but there really isn't much you can do about that. I definitely wouldn't change anything from what you are doing now. The rut is in full blast, walk in with a drag of some doe p on it to catch anything that might be moving above the field and then sit tight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lindow66 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I had a similar setup before and I hung a stand about thirty yards off of the field in the inside corner of the field. The buck would come there to check out the field before last light.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

You know , if he busts you again your done for the year with him. I'd let it cool off for a bit and try to get him comming back through in the a.m. Pattern the does and you will find him

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jimmy Vickers wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

GET in between the creek and the scrapeline,and in between s1 and s2.Set up a pop up blind.This will cover your movement and scent.Spend every hour you can waiting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnjf wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

If there's any rain in the forcast I would sit in stand one because once that rain stops, I'm sure that buck will be back to freshen up that scrape.

If you can use scents, try using doe estrus and make a trail leading near your stand. That might get the buck coming in nose to the ground.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigWurm13 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I would set up in spot 1 and put the decoy heading in from the field towards the scrapes and rubs. The reason I would set up in Spot 1 and not spot 2 is because you have both the rubs and scrapes near that location.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoors4good wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I suggest putting doe estrous scent out on either side of stand one, with a dose of buck urine too between stand 1 and the creek. Get in the woods early in the afternoon. Rattle an hour before dark. Any self respecting buck will circle down wind to check out the commotion and pick up the scent before it gets a nose full of yours. The scent on either side should work with the prevailing wind and any air flow disturbance caused by the creek. This is how I tagged the buck you saw on my wall that I shot around the corner from your house, the setup was almost identical but out of necessatiy I'm real close to the creek.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whitetail98 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I would say to either move your stand or set up a ground blind right where you have your "entry" arrow right along the field and the woods and about maybe 5 yds or so in. If the area that you labeled "brush" is really thick it might be their bedding area. They will also do their breeding in a very thick area so as to not draw the attention of other bucks. Im not trying to criticize you but I would recommend not checking or even going near ANY of the scrapes or rubs. If you really want to know what's hitting them try putting up trail cam. Also putting the stand/blind right where you enter will eliminate your scent being tracked all around the deer's travel and feeding routes. According to your picture, from where you enter in order to get to your stand you have to trek completely over their trails and basically through the buck's rubs and scrapes and their dusk feeding area. This will help cut down on your presence being known. You should be able to get a clear shot as he comes through. I hope you try this and it works!! And GOOD LUCK!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

All good stuff, fellas.
Buckhunter, I might have thought the same about a mature buck not coming in before dark on that wind--except that he'd already do so twice. Same wind both times I'd previously seen him in the field.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Also as season progresses and it gets closer to full rut, activity at those scrapes will likely be abandoned during daylight. Some food for thought if you're planning to do some hunting soon.

Good luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Get a flying squirrel!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Franksinthewoods wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Not sure if you use calls or not, but I've had pretty good luck using a buck grunt durring the rut. A few tiems usually if I was bored or irritated by not seeing anything I've blown on it more than I thought I should and called in some angry bucks. I called a buck heading in the opposite direction and had it turn around and come back to check me out. Unfortunately I was still-hunting with my bow and the only cover I had when he got within range was the camo I was wearing. It seems the doe bleats and grunts would work the best, but the buck grunts short and long seem to work the best for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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