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I had an absolutely wonderful breathtaking weekend. Everyone knows how much I enjoy a beautiful sunrise, but Sunday morning I had an added bonus to the experience. One of those things a person is lucky to see once in a lifetime. Just about any deer hunter will know what I mean. There is always the dream buck. The chances of actually seeing one is about as close as winning the lottery. Sunday morning, I was the lucky winner of a lottery that has no monetary value, only spiritual reward.
We arrived at camp late Thursday night, actually Friday Morning, too tired to do much more than unload our bags and equipment. It was a very warm morning, we didn’t even have to run the heater for the very few hours of sleep before waking at 5:00 AM. The morning hunt was uneventful for me, other than enjoying yet another sunrise, I saw no game what so ever. J.J. and I spent the rest of the day checking feeders, and making sure things were set for the rest of the weekend. There really is quite a bit of work involved in keeping the hunting interesting and productive. The advantage is that it is all enjoyable work with a positive prospects.
Friday evening, I was treated to a special moment. While sitting in the blind, patiently waiting for the deer to start moving, I caught a slight movement in my peripheral vision. As I gazed down the trail, focusing on what I believed to be movement, I noticed it once more. Lifting my binoculars slowly and focusing them on the location, I saw a Bobcat. The stealthy predator was in search of a lone quail or other unsuspecting little creature. Moving with determined measure, slowly proceeding then pausing while looking around. I was amazed by the lithe, effortless advance. The Bobcat was so intent on looking under every bush and tree, he did not notice a silent spectator high above him in that strange looking box. The movements of the cat mesmerized me, and held my attention in rapt fascination. There is a certain quality to the sleek purposeful efforts of a cat on the prowl, especially a wild cat. Lord only knows how many other animals I missed while watching this beautiful Bobcat on a hunt of it's own.
I enjoyed a very colorful sunset, and brought some of that back to share with you. The video will be at the bottom of the post, the quality is not very good, but what do you expect from an amateur like me. If I had any sense at all, I would have videoed the Bobcat, but it didn’t even cross my mind until the moment was over.
Saturday morning welcomed us with a brutal wind, and moderate temperatures. I saw only a few deer, and they were all very jump and unsure of the noises being caused by the wind. Returning to the camper, we had a nice lunch of leftovers from J.J.’s Christmas meal. While J.J. took a long nap, I sat down at the lap top and wrote a post that I may publish later in the week. Before I knew it, it was time to go back out for the evening hunt. I choose to sit a blind I haven’t used all year. It’s a tripod blind, mostly used for bow hunting. There is no protection from the elements, and very little cover to prevent being seen by the deer. I was welcomed by 15 doe, and a half dozen yearlings. Such an amazing sight in itself, and providing the opportunity to take the doe I needed. It’s important to balance the population, and if one takes only bucks, there will be a resulting overpopulation, causing strife and hunger among the herd.
Sunday morning was bitter cold, 22 degrees, but luckily there was little to no wind. I sat a different blind once again, one with a heater, I’m not a complete fool. The wait for mornings gray light seemed longer than normal. As the sky lightened, and shadows started to take shape, I began scanning the tree lines and field. Many times the changing shadows will play tricks on you, so I was not surprised to see something moving far back in the trees. I focused the binoculars on the area, and was welcomed with the form of a deer moving slowly through the trees. I could tell it was a mature buck, and I was excited to see more activity.
I had already filled my tags, so this was simply a sight seeing hunt. As the deer got closer and closer, and the sky lighter, I could tell it was a big bodied buck. I could not see the antlers clearly yet, so I did not know the amazing majesty that was moving before my very eyes. The Buck walked slowly grazing as he went, pausing seldom. He was making quick progress on his route, and obviously had some purposeful intent to his route. As he got closer, I could just start seeing the glint of light off his antlers. They seemed large, but again unclear as yet. My anticipation was growing, and I grabbed the video camera. Trying to focus in on the animal, I discovered that it was simply too dark for the camera to work. I was going to have to watch, and have no way to share what I was about to see. The buck walked along, not 20 yards from where I sat. I could tell his antlers were very tall, taller than any I had seen. When he got beside the blind, he looked right at me and shook his head, almost as if laughing. What stood before me was the buck of a lifetime. He was a spectacular 8 point with G2 tines that were at least 14 inches tall. My pulse was already racing, breath held in check by my excitement. What was most spectacular about him was the width of his majestic rack. He had to be no less than 25 inches wide. This would be a buck that many a hunter would love to shoot, yet I could only watch and bow to his royal beauty, as he walked by. It was as if he had decided to grace me with his presence, and I was truly grateful for the experience.