I arrived at my blind just before 4 o’clock and had to be careful as a small doe group was already feeding in the bean stubble field about 200 yards away. I snuck in and set my decoy up (sans the head) inside to use as a gun rest. I was watching the entire area, and a few minutes later I noticed a dark-colored deer all by itself.
When I got my binoculars up I immediately noticed the chocolate-stained antlers of a buck I hadn’t seen before. He took a few more steps and turned broadside. One good look and I was immediately in “shoot mode.” I started using a Remington .270 (that my brother gave me as a wedding gift back in ’13) during the 2017 Indiana Firearms season. I knew that, although it was a rather long shot, that I could get it done.
I steadied the gun on the back of the decoy, took a deep breath, and fired at the buck. He went down. A few moments later he got up and started to run off, but stopped momentarily. I decided to fire another round as insurance.
This is the first buck that I’ve killed since falling from a tree stand in 2015, and it’s the first one I taken with a rifle. I couldn’t be happier with him.
Epilogue: I had hunted hard up to this point in the season, with a couple of close calls during archery earlier in Nov. I actually had a 9-pointer that I was hunting within range the night before, but a pesky doe caught me moving and snorted the alarm, so every deer in that alfalfa field hauled out of it, leaving me somewhat heartbroken. I almost didn’t hunt on Monday evening, but when I got out of school there was a skiff of snow on the ground and it was too perfect to pass up. I’m glad I went and shot the buck at 4:15, nearly a full hour before sunset.
This buck isn’t from the immediate area, as evidenced I believe by his dark rack. This buck came from somewhere with more pines/cedars. Couple this with the fact that neither I, nor my buddy, have ever seen this buck, I feel like he was a “cruiser,” checking the many doe family units on my buddy’s property for a last doe to breed.—Thanks, Dean