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A change of plans

November 26, 2017
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

Well, over the past few weeks you have heard only squirrel and bird reports from the treestand. I really do hunt deer from those platforms hanging high in the trees. I don't go out and sit in the cold and the dark for my health. Thirty years ago, I would have been in my favorite stand on October 1 opening day. Over the years, however, I have waited until closer to the breeding season called rut to hit it hard. Rut is here.

I had to laugh the other night when a friend told me of a conversation that he had with a fella at coffee and it concerned my news columns. "If he shoots a deer, I suppose I'll have to read about it in the newspaper!"

Contrary to what many might think, I am not paid the big dollars to write a column every week. In fact, the only compensation that our office receives is a free subscription to the Reinbeck Courier. And I do appreciate that. So, that is my justification for making readers suffer through my "accomplishments."

So, it really is bow season for deer and I am writing this week about deer! The story goes something like this:

Tuesday before last, I took off early from work with the intention of getting out into the tree. When you want to get away early, too many times there seems to be things that come up delaying that. Such was the case that day.

I finally came rolling down the hill to my house about 3:30 PM. Later than I had wished to be getting out but the wind was out of the NE and I hadn't decided what stand if any would be good for that kind of wind. Honestly, none of my stands are very good in that wind direction.

What did I see crossing the road literally 50 yards from my driveway but a nice buck! I watched him as he made his way through the grass and then I noticed a doe up the fenceline very intent on watching him come her way.

Just that quickly, I decided to "go maverick." It was time for a change of plans. I have an old treestand from several years ago in the draw behind my house. And that draw looked like the place these deer might be heading. I quickly dressed in my hunting clothes, grabbed the bow and lit out over the hill on what has all too many other times ended up being a wild goose chase or in this case a wild buck chase.

Things had grown enough in that tree that I couldn't even find the stand immediately. And after scrambling up into the stand I wondered, after years of growth, if there were really any good shooting lanes left. I "hit the horns" and gave my best effort at sounding like two fighting bucks. I followed that with a sequence of loud "pig" grunting intended to sound like a lovesick buck chasing a doe. Surely that would bring the buck if he was still within earshot and not intent on chasing the doe I had seen.

My eyes scanned the area where I thought the buck should appear but nothing. That's when I heard the crack of cornstalks in the field on my left. I turned and saw a different buck a bigger buck on the run toward my tree. He was coming on a straight string right to the spot where he had heard all that rattling and grunting commotion.

He was headed to me. But something was wrong..



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