The big tease has begun. A fine 10-point has finally showed himself on my trail camera in daylight. I’m guessing he’s about 140 inches, but he might be 135 or 145. I really don’t care about the numbers—he looks good and he’s mature, which is all I need to know. So on Wednesday I spied on that stand location from a mile away through a spotting scope in the morning because the wind was iffy for the blind. The same dark-horned 10-point was there on the creek, 20 steps from my blind, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. He chased a couple of does, seemed content that they were not interested in him, then hogged free corn at the feeder. Three other smaller bucks circled the area. It reminded me of the chaos around a beehive.

Yesterday, November 6, I got up at 4:30 a.m. to make the trek to that location. I was settled in almost an hour before first light. Frost covered the grass and it was cold, 35 degrees. At 6:43, the first minute of legal shooting light, a buck walked past my hideout at 10 steps. It was a young 8-point. He never knew I was there. He tempted me for a long time at 17 yards broadside—when you haven’t been seeing anything up close for so long, any racked buck looks good. At 7:40, three does came trotting down the creek. The buck stood and stared at them, then twitched his tail and chased them down the creek. The mature 10-point was a no-show.

When I checked the trail camera, I found he had been there the previous afternoon, in fair light. And the afternoon before that! So I’m taking a shower in the green soap, taking a few practice shots with my bow and heading back. After all, it’s November, and any day now can be that magic one that you remember for a lifetime.