Pro Staff: Tommy Ladson's "You Snooze You Lose" Buck Story

It was the first Friday of the Pennsylvania rifle season, and I only had a half day of school. The night before I made plans to take my girlfriend's oldest brother Glenn hunting to try and get him a deer. We got out of school at noon, and we were out in the woods hunting by 2 p.m. I decided to set up in a area where a lot of deer trails connect together to form one big trail heading into a feeding area. I set Glenn up on a cleared timber line that intersects with the main deer trail. I then set up about 100 yards behind him overlooking a creek bottom. We were sitting in the cold temperatures for about two hours before I saw the first movement of the day. It was a small flock of turkeys that were feeding in front of me about 50 yards away. In about 10 minutes a small doe started to make her way behind the turkeys. Then came another doe and another until there were 13 in all. I watched eagerly hoping that they would make their way up past me so they could present a shot for Glenn. It was then I realized that there was one deer in the back that was unaccounted for. It was an 8-point buck that was following the does and feeding with them. The scenario seemed great and my plan was finally going to pay off. Instead of Glenn shooting a doe he would get a chance at this nice 8-pointer, which would have been his biggest buck to date. I watched the deer feed for the next 30 minutes, but then they started moving away from me. After they had passed me things took an unexpected turn and the deer made a right instead of heading up past Glenn. It was then I realized that if I didn't make a move now he was going to have no chance at getting this deer. I quitely climbed down from my perch and stalked my way up to the deer and eventually moved past them. Then when I felt I was in the right position I stood up and yelled to pronounce where my position was. The deer reacted exactly like I hoped they would and ran back up directly to Glenn. I threw my binoculars up and watched the does walk across the clear cut one by one without hearing a shot. Now at this point I started to think something was wrong because Glenn is not the type of person to let a deer just walk by. Then I began to think that he spotted the buck and was letting the does pass so he could shoot the buck. I watched the buck step out into the clear cut and stop directly in the middle. I was waiting to hear the loud bang of Glenn's gun and watch it all unfold in my binoculars. Then the deer started walking away and eventually crossed the clearcut and made its way into the woods and up the hill. At this point I was in disbelief, this was the biggest deer that he ever got to put his sights on in the woods but no shot. I started walking back to Glenn because it was starting to get dark, and after I pushed the deer away from I really didn't expect to see anything else. I finally made my way up to Glenn, but suprisingly Glenn is sleeping against the tree snoring. I woke him up and told him about what had happened. I proceeded to tell him the story, but he just accused me of lying. After talking for a few minutes we decided to head out and call it a day. Instead of taking the quick way out though I decided we were going to take the long way. It was the way in which the buck went earlier, and I was hoping that the deer didn't go to far since I last saw him. We headed up the hill and down the other side when I spotted a deer and then the whole herd. I threw my gun up quickly but the deer had already taken off and started running. I watched him through my scope and then he stopped for a split second to look back and see what we were. I squeezed the trigger and released my 180 grain bullet from my Remington 30/06. I watched it connect with the deer 100 yards away right on the spine. A split second later the deer was on the ground. I walked up to the deer with Glenn to claim my prize. I bent down and picked up the deer by his rack and took a good look at it. It's definetly not the biggest buck I have taken, but it was a good deer to fill the freezer. After carefully inspecting the deer I turned to Glenn, looked at him and said, I told you so! --Tommy