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A Made-to-Order Buck


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Time - and Deer - Slip Away
Photo of food plot with fall foliage

One of the many beautiful food plots on the hunting property, complete with fall colors.

Photo © Russ Chastain
I'd headed to middle Georgia for a whitetail deer hunt, which has been an annual event for the past decade or so, thanks to a good friend of mine. Over the years, hunters and the hunting property - and the deer that live there - have changed. As most of the hunters took bucks, most of them strove to kill bigger ones in the future. Many's the buck that has walked away from a hunter on that chunk of land.

On this particular trip, I headed up there late on a Tuesday and began hunting on Wednesday. Less than two hours after getting settled in my stand, I passed up yet another buck. He was legal (minimum of four points on one side) but his antlers were not great, and although I'd been itching to slay a deer with a handgun - and he posed for me many times at close range - he wandered off and life went on.

That is the way it went for several days afterward... I saw and failed to shoot a number of bucks. Most of them didn't give me the time to thoroughly examine them like the first one did, but even so I could tell that none of them were really big, which is what I'd been hunting for.

The weekend came and brought with it a large influx of folks and a crowd of thirteen hunters in the woods. Constant high winds didn't help things and many of us failed to see any deer at all, much less the big bucks we were looking for. After the weekenders headed home, the woods breathed a sigh of relief, and so did we.

On Monday, things changed. The temperature wasn't very cool, but it was still and clear. No more howling wind! Gotta love that. My morning hunt resulted in no animals seen, and as I'd been there for almost a week, I wondered when things might turn around for me. I felt a little disappointed, but one of the first thing a hunter learns is that when you're hunting it only takes a second for things to change in a big way. So I kept up my faith.

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