Anyway, I sat in my ladder stand in a brushy bottom for three hours yesterday afternoon. During which time, I barely saw a squirrel. What's the deal? I thought. It's the damn rut! Where are the deer? Then, at dark-dark, the last minute of legal light, a deer came crunching down the ridge directly behind me. Slow, cautious steps. I turned my head and could just make out that his rack. It was inside his ears, maybe a 6-pointer. I wasn't going to shoot, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to see whether I could get in position for a shot without getting busted. I waited until his head was behind a tree, stood, and turned. The stand creaked. The buck took off. He wasn't super scared, didn't snort, just went 50 yards higher up the hill. And he was upwind.