Kinda miss having the user daily journals.
Killed a decent 8 on December 1st, not a wallhanger and I thought I might pass the deer if I saw him based on trail cam pics but ended up taking him. Wife has had issues with her work, and with everything with the kids and time for hunting had been kinda limited.
Wednesday the 6th my wife was working local so she took the the kids to school and left me an opportunity for a morning hunt. Planned on calling for yotes, but took my .308 just in case. There was a good frost that morning, so as I got up the hill to our back field and started walking there was loud unavoidable crunching through the beans as I am carrying the speaker for my caller to set out about 70 yards in front of me. As I neared the crest of the hill I hear a deer blow. She took off straight away from me, could hear her stomping on her way. I drop the speaker and go back and climb in the stand. About 10 minutes later, it is still before legal shooting light and pretty dim, I hear another deer blowing off and down to my right near another stand I have next to the old river channel. Pick up my nikon monarch binos and am glassing the dim field and see a doe standing in our clover and winter rye plot just looking straight at me and just standing there. I pan around and see another body behind one of our cages around the apple trees. I can see bone on his head but no idea what he is. He is eating in the plot and I had a side view but no idea just what he was. The other doe I cannot see blows a few more times. By now it is right at legal shooting light and the doe that was standing in the field starts walking off. She walks over the hill and the buck I had seen heads that way as well, eating on his way. I could see his side and looked like good long beams. He turned as he was going into the woods and I could see he was past his ears, probably close to 17 inches wide inside.
Not long after they are gone I see the busted up buck I think is probably at least 4.5 years old that I posted about in other threads here. He comes up the edge of a brush pile towards me and gets within probably 75 yards of me and turns and walks back away and disappears into the brush pile. Again had several shot opportunities on him. About 15 minutes later had a doe fawn and a button buck come out. Had seen this button and doe fawn numerous times along with the momma doe, but momma doe was not with them this time.
About 40-45 minutes later I see a doe come out from behind the crest assume she came out of the end of the brush pile. I had that feeling I knew it was probably the doe that the buck had followed off the field when it was dim. I started to reach for my gun in the corner knowing there was a good chance the buck would show. The doe was not too concerned at that point, she would go between looking back and looking up towards my stand. The first time she looked back I knew there had to be a buck behind her. I was focused behind her and then I saw tines just over the crest. I still could have gotten my gun up, stand is wrapped with tent canvas and getting the gun up at that point would not have been an issue. Back of my mind, this would be a great deer for my wife or 12 year old daughter, ad the split second thinking would I feel right having taken a second deer before either of them got one. Needless to say I held my bino's up and just watched the buck. Looked like he had been a main frame 9, with two busted tines and a busted brow. Little doubt in my mind this one is the one that did most the damage to the busted up buck. This deer if he were not busted up is probably mid 120's, probably as good if not a little better than the 9 I killed last year. I continued watching and let the doe get around about even with where I dropped the speaker. She had been watching me and I had put the bino's down as the buck had gotten to close enough view I could see him pretty well. I can see the doe from my peripheral view but am looking at the buck. I think the doe saw me blink kinda hard and she finally had all she could take as she trotted off. She never blew and it was not a wide open run, think she was just unsure. Buck looked up like what wrong with you and he also took off. He was not in an all out run, I am sure I could have gotten my gun up still and probably could have slowed him or stopped him for a shot, but instead just watched as he rounded the corner of what see as a scrapeline year after year.
The buck got one pic made, think it is the only pic I have of him, unfortunately it is not a great pic but can see he has long beams. I sent my wife out that afternoon, and she has hunted several times since and has seen several deer, but has not seen that buck. In a way I regret not taking the deer, I would have been tagged out on bucks, but on the other hand I think about the chances that the wife or my daughter have on taking a nice buck if I had taken him. Had a similar situation last year with passing on one with my accura in my hand and then missing the deer a few times, ended up taking that one. Oh well, cannot go back and change it, hope passing him pays off.