|Right Result, Wrong Deer
Young buck responds to rattling… Twice!!
This journal will chronicle my Rut-cation and review tactics based on weather and timing to hunt NE Ohio whitetail deer. I look forward to sharing this ongoing story with you.
Good Luck Everyone and – Stay Afflicted with Whitetail OCD
- Pressure 30.01
- NE winds 5 MPH
- Temperature low 22 and high of 52
- Moon Waning Gibbous
- Rise 10:48 PM
- Set: 12:30 PM
- Bedding area, take advantage of cold temps and late setting moon
The frost on the ground was a welcome sight today. The falling temperatures added more hope that the “visible rut” would be enhanced.
I got a later start than I wanted today. I was on stand at 6:25 AM, much later than my original plan. The gray light brightened quickly and I knew it was time. I had been waiting for these conditions for the past two weeks. The wind was almost non-existent and I knew sound would travel. It was cold and calm; it was time to rattle.
I picked up the rattling horns at first shooting light and gave a light tickle to the tines. Nothing happened. I waited 15 Minutes and “climbed the ladder” in intensity with my calling. I picked up my crossbow and I was greeted by the sound of deer approaching through the timber.
Looking to my right, I saw the small buck approaching. His head was down and ears were up, seeking the deer who were fighting just minutes earlier. Although he was not a shooter, it was fun to see an animal react to my call.
The young, 1.5-year-old buck came into my location and stopped. He looked around trying to find the source of the battle he heard. The buck turned right and headed for the open field. I watched the buck walk onto the old airstrip and turn left heading towards the bedding cover in between the two overgrown fields. I smiled and shook my head thinking, “Why can’t a mature deer do that?”
After 15 minutes, I decided it was time for another rattling sequence. I rattled with the same intensity as my last effort. It is amazing how the sound carries on these calm mornings. Turning to put the antlers back down, I could hear deer coming again. This time the sound was from the overgrown field. I quickly grabbed my crossbow again and readied for a shot. The deer entered in front of me, just as I had planned. The buck entered the grass area between my stand and the field edge. He walked to 30 yards and turned broadside and stopped directly in my shooting lane. Everything was perfect, except it was the same deer I had called in 15 minutes before.
I started to shake uncontrollably. I wasn’t shaking from buck fever or the cold 26 degree temperatures. I was shaking because I was laughing. What else could I do? I had just called in the same deer twice in the last 15 minutes and now I was sure he was educated to the sound of rattling.
The young buck stood long enough for me to snap a picture on my phone before turning 180 degrees and headed back into the overgrown field. The morning was still young and it was cold; I was hopeful more deer were on their feet.
A lone doe appeared at 9 AM. I picked up my bow and got ready. “Is this the one?” I thought. Her demeanor was not of a chased or tended doe, but I held to hope. The doe moved into the timber at 30 yards and angled through the woods with nothing following her. I can’t tell you why she was on her feet, but it was not from a rutting buck.
The morning ended without another sighting.
I chose not to hunt the evening today. I had some yard work to complete before the cold and rain/snow move into the area.
Tomorrow is another day! Low temperatures in the 20’s and very high pressure of 30.50 are in the forecast. Having colder than average temperatures, my hope is that the deer will continue to move in the morning and throughout the day. Tomorrow will be a rough sit; with 15 mph winds, staying warm will be a challenge. One I look forward to very much!
Good luck everyone and Stay Afflicted with Whitetail OCD.