Trail Cams, and the Saga of the 10-Pointer

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.