8 point

Well just got back from my trip with Reed Lloyd. Reed didn’t join a lease this year so I brought him up as a guest to my new lease. We sure had fun. We had a big cook out one night and had campfires every night. The hunting was slow due to some unexpected warm weather. We hunted hard regardless.

Most of the guys were hunting the 250 and I asked if we could join them. Jerry Ryder said no problem and put me in what they call Bob’s stand. It’s a old tri-pod stand in the middle of the property. There’s an old food plot plus 2 trails you can watch plus some palmetto flats. It reminded me of Ocala National Forest.

At about 7:45 a doe and small 8 pointer walked out in the food plot and walked straight at me. He was a nice buck, maybe 11 inches wide with good mass. I went back and forth about shooting him and finally decided to pass on both deer. As soon as they left I starting beating myself up for not shooting. If I didn’t have a 6 pointer in the cooler I would have taken him.

About 20 minutes later I heard grunting and a deer fast approaching to my left. I caught a flash of horns and he looked like a shooter. I didn’t have much time because he was grunting and coming fast. There was a trail to my left that he had to cross and I put my cross hairs where he would appear. At the shot he went down and I figured I had a really nice deer.

When I saw him, I have to admit, he did a little ground shrinkage. He was a nice buck, 13 inches wide with good color and mass. I honestly thought he was about a 15 or 16 inch buck, but I was still happy. Well with this buck, my hunting season pretty much came to a close. 2 bucks and a doe is about all my freezer will hold. I may go back up one more time with Reed and hope he can score on a nice buck.

Large 6 point 

As Philip and I headed up on our second trip I was really ready to see some horns. The weather was cold but the wind had picked up. I had hunted my other stand in the morning by the bottom and was just not happy with it. There were trails alright, but the brush was so high I was afraid the deer would just sneak by with out me seeing them. As I was walking back to the 4 wheeler, I noticed a crossing on the road. I followed it up into our property and was really excited. There was a small oak hammoch near by with trails and rubs. I walked on farther and liked what I saw. I told Philip when I got back I needed to move my stand and he agreed.

I didn’t hunt the stand that evening decideding to let it cool down from all the activity. The next morning Philip didn’t feel well so I took off by myself. The first thing I noticed was frost on the ground which is always a good sign. I had just settled in when I heard something off to my left. I glanced over and thought I saw a flash of horns. It was still to dark to shoot.

A few minutes passed by and I could hear the deer getting closer. I really needed 10 more minutes before I could shoot. To my relief there was a clump of bushes to my left and he walked up and began to feed behind these small trees. He fed for about 10 minutes allowing enough light and legal shooting hours to begin.

I slowly raised my rifle and held where I figured he would come out. All in one motion he stepped out, glanced at me and I shot. I could tell he was a nice buck. He ran in circles for a moment and piled up not more than 30 yards away. He was a big, heavy 6 point with 7 inch brow tines. He has a 16 inch spread and scores about 100 BC.

First Hunt

Well here we go. Philip Crawford and I headed up for our first hunt of the gun season ready to go. Philip was back on the lease after a 1 year absence because of work and I was a new member. We hunted hard and Philip saw a ton of deer but no bucks. I finally saw 3 does on the 50 acres out of a tri-pod stand and proceeded to miss all three. I checked my gun back at camp and found out it was 6 inches low at 100 yards. These deer were 150 yards out so I had no chance. After fixing my gun, I was ready to go.

That evening I hunted my stand in the bottom and right at dark deer were everywhere. 3 does ran by followed by 4 more deer. Then off to left 3 more does slowly walked by and I thought about taking the largest one. Suddenly I heard something below me and to the right and there stood a large doe not more than 10 yards away. I aimed and fired and she ran off about 20 yards and went down. Not a bad way to start the season.

Cades Cove

Well, my wife Sandee and I took our trip to Cades Cove this year bound and determined to get some good footage of some nice bucks. We were not disappointed. The weather was perfect, cold and clear. The leaves were just starting to turn, so that was the only negative thing about the trip.

It became obvious after our first pass through that the deer were moving very early and very late in the day. We decided to go hiking and come back later in the day and hope for better luck. On the second go around we were near the visitor center when we spotted an older gentleman climbing out of his truck in a hurry. He pointed to the hillside and there stood 2 really nice bucks. Sandee filmed for a few minutes and they finally ran off. Not a bad start.

 As we came around the loop road on the other side we noticed 4 bucks out in the pasture. These were huge bucks. With the light fading we couldn’t get any good footage, but at least we knew where they were. At dinner that night I told my wife we needed to be at the gate at first light and use the cross roads and get to the pasture as quick as possible. Without hesitation she agreed with the plan.

I could hardly sleep that night. Morning found us in line at the gate and ready to go. As we drove through we took the farthest cross road and drove to the end. Nothing. Man what a disappointment. As we crossed the bridge on the way back, a huge buck jumped up and walked along side the truck. I pulled over, Sandee jumped out and started filming. We got great footage as he walked up and then casually jumped a barbwire fence.

I glanced over and saw a small tree moving in the creek bottom. It was another huge buck making a rub. We watched and filmed until he climbed out and walked right at Sandee. The footage of this huge buck breaking through the brush and looking at her is breath taking. I figured that was it, but as we were nearing the end, we saw a truck pulled over. I glanced at Sandee and we both bailed out of the truck. 

What greeted us I will never forget. A huge buck making a scape. Never had I seen this except on TV. After a moment he jerked his head up and suddenly there were now 2 huge bucks. I told Sandee to keep filming, we were in for a fight. They proceeded to wrestle and fight for the next 15 minutes, and we got it all on film. In the end it was by far the best trip in terms of deer we have ever taken. 


Scout Trip

A little behind here so I’ll tell you about my scout trip. Bill Williams and I drove up back in September and put out 2 stands. The first one was next to a bottom that crossed through the property. I’ve been told the deer cross the power lines and work along the bottom and bed down near by. The area looks a lot like Florida with palmetto’s and scrub oaks with some pine mixed in. While we were setting up we saw 2 deer which is always a good sign.

 The second stand is actually in the bottom along a pinch point between a pasture and a pine grove. It’s also the boundary of our property. I found a lot of rubs and trails plus some good scrape areas so I’m real happy with both spots. I’ve seen other stands in the woods and it’s my understanding that all we have to do is ask and we can hunt them also. Ready for the season to start.