Back on October 22nd I told you about how I missed a near-P&Y 10-pointer–a real good buck for this area. He was, however, right back in that same field on the following evening and the one after that.

I came real close on his last visit, but he slipped behind me and got my wind. I decided to rest the field the next night, and from a stand on the opposite side of the farm, maybe a half hour before last light, I heard somebody shooting up the field with what sounded like a .22. I don’t know if he was after squirrels or tin cans or, God forbid, deer, but after that, the 10-pointer and every other deer I’d been seeing stopped showing up in the field.
I scouted the nearby woods, but they were pretty much devoid of buck sign–until, after several days, a scrape opened up. So I went home and dusted off one of my trail cameras.

I had to dust it off because don’t use trail cams much–not that I have any problem with them. Some people do have problems; some say they give the hunter an unfair advantage. I don’t know about that. What I do find comical, though, are rifle hunters who begrudge archers their trail cams. Yes, many bowhunters have cameras–but you have a rifle! Jeez.

No, the only reason I don’t use them much is because I kind of prefer the aesthetic of the old way–and of being surprised when I see a certain buck (as opposed to “Hey, there’s Big 10”). That said, I will absolutely will bust out the camera when I need to, and so I did, and the 10 pointer hit the scrape that very night. I got this pic of him, and just like that I was back in the game.


I also got a picture of this 8-pointer, another great buck for this area. I’d never seen this guy before–probably a cruiser looking for a doe. I’ll admit it was a fun surprise to see him pop up on my computer screen, even if I might enjoy that surprise a bit more from my treestand.

So yeah, trail cams are fun and in this case helped put me back on a buck quickly, but they sure as heck won’t put him in one of my shooting lanes. Yesterday morning, I sat near said scrape in my climbing stand, on a clear, cold, early-November morning, with a perfect wind…and got skunked.

And just now (I’m writing this blog from my stand) one of the two bucks–I couldn’t tell which–just crashed through here not 60 yards away, tongue lolling, chasing a doe.

I could have killed him with a rifle.