Wilson Post Blogs
A woodland morning
Tam Apo must have worked overtime this morning. I have watched thousands of sunrises. This one, as they all seem, is special. The light filters through the vines and still green leaves, just touching the forest floor here and there. I like it. I enjoy just watching it unfold.
He might come, the larger buck. Probably not and if he does, he will probably stay in the cedar fringe. My closest shot would be 45-yards and even with the TenPoint Phantom Crossbow, I probably will not take that shot. But, he might fool me and come by the stand in range. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter. Earlier this morning, I told Libby, my faithful dog, I was going buck hunting. She grinned in agreement.
Two days ago, I saw a fair buck cross the road and head in the direction of the little knoll where I sit. I am 15-feet off the forest floor, comfortable in my ladder stand, hidden back in the foliage. I have good visibility in three directions. I usually see a lot of deer from this stand.
In fact, to date, I have killed 31 deer from it. I don’t need to kill a deer. I am not hurting for meat. So, today, I am buck hunting.
There is a light frosting on the grasses in the open areas. It is just a hint, a teaser of things to come. I don’t care. I would like to see three straight days of hard freeze. That would kill all the dang ticks. Just the thought makes he itch.
He is the dumbest animal in the woods. A button buck, somewhat like a young teenager, he is totally controlled by his stomach. All he thinks about is food.
As it is with a teenager, that soon will change. But, this morning he is hungry. He walks by me one way, stopping here and there to sample some vegetation.
Then, for a reason known only to him, he turns and walks back. I smile at him as he looks directly at me. I know he can’t see me, I haven’t moved. I think to myself, I’m pretty good. I’ve played this game before. I could shoot you if I wanted to, only 25-yards. I don’t want to and he gets to walk on, tail flitting as he watches the sunspots dance on the ground.
One of those little birds flirts by. They make that sound as they fly by, Flirrrt. I don’t know what they are, don’t care, some sort of wren, maybe? They are both annoying and entertaining. They are also woodland alarm systems. They tend to throw a tysic every time something new comes into view. That is what this one is doing now. Something is coming.
A deer maybe?
My shoulder creaks as I lift the TenPoint off the hook and switch the scope on. It rests across my lap and I watch him. He is in no hurry. Unlike the button buck, he moves with caution. He constantly licks his nose to taste with wind for dangerous scent. Just a few steps and stop. He is right on the borderline of too far to shoot. I have confidence I could make a clean shot. I am just not sure I want to shoot. My laser rangefinder says he is 45-yards. It is a vintage Nikon but very accurate. I debate.
He moves along the fringe of cedars-his safety zone-where one jump puts him out of sight. I have a feeling he may have been shot at and missed at some point. He has that air about him as he moves. I have ranged the big, pride of Wilson County rock many times. It is exactly 43-yards. He stops right in front of it and my hand starts to tighten on the crossbow. A few days ago I shot the Phantom, just checking the sight. The first dot is +/- a tad from 10-35-yards. The second dot is +/- a tad from 35 to 45. I know if I hold dead center of the kill zone, I will make a killing shot.
He is not a big deer. I think he is the one I saw cross the road. He looks skinny and he will need to fatten up some before the rut kicks into high gear. I don’t need the meat, for sure not a skinny buck smaller than so many I have killed. He would not qualify for a “trophy” whatever that is.
I sit back and watch the tendrils of sun now widen and splay across the woodland floor. I hang the TenPoint back up. Maybe a doe will come by or a coyote. Maybe not. Who knows?
It is a superb woodland morning.