Hunting Bucks After Gun Season

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I was hunting the lower part of Michigan just south of Adrian in the

beginning of the 2004 Bow season. I have had a lot of doe under my stand and

missed a nice buck after the arrow hit a limb, not a good feeling. The

pressure was on and the gun hunters were starting to scout the woods and set

up their blinds. And then it happened, I had become buckless when gun

season arrived. Now my chances of getting a nice buck seemed to be doomed

for the 2004 bow season. Gun season is my time to relax and sleep in

because I just bow hunt. Something about having to wear orange doesn't

make me feel so safe in the woods. The weekend gun season ended I headed

back out to my stand. The deer sign was not there anymore. I hunted the

morning till 10am and the evening from 3pm to dusk and had seen nothing.

Every year this happens to me out here, where are the deer at? Now muzzle

loader season is here and my chances are getting slimmer, more gun hunters.

My hunting partner Randy had called me earlier in the week before I was

going to hunt the weekend of the 18th. He said that a guy that's hunts on

the other side of me across the river had been seeing the deer move between

noon and 3pm and that would be the time to be on stand. So on a cold

December Friday morning I headed back out to my stand. It was the 17th of

December, not much time left in the season. The weather was about 20

degrees above and a little windy. I had so many clothes on that I had to

re-adjust my safety belt in my tree stand so it wouldn't be so tight. I had

gotten on stand about 11am and wouldn't you know it at noon a few does came

right by me. I sat on stand till dark and had seen nothing since the does

earlier. It was a good feeling seeing deer moving and I looked forward to

hunting the next day at the same time. Saturday morning came and again I was

on stand at 11am and not soon after sitting on stand the weather was getting

bad. The wind started to pick up and then the snow came with hale. It was

2:30pm and I was getting cold. The temp had dropped a lot since I had gotten

on stand and I thought about packing in for the day. The cold front we were

suppose to get that night came early and I was in it. I told myself if

nothing by 3pm I am out of here. At 2:45pm I saw the woods in front moving

towards me. There had to be 15 deer plus coming at my stand. I grabbed my

bow on the holder and stood up to see if a buck was in the herd and there

was. He wasn't that big, but it was a buck. The buck was the last deer to

come in. I had a little problem with all the deer below my stand, they

might see me draw back on the buck. With lack of cover around me during the

late season my stand is up around 30 feet and chances of a deer below seeing

is low. The buck had disappeared behind a big oak with another deer about

15 yards from my stand. I was so busy looking at the big doe smelling

around my stand that I took my eyes off the buck. I couldn't tell which

deer was the buck or the doe behind the tree, all I could see was hind

quarters. From 30 feet up all the deer look the same size, little. The

two deer wouldn't pop their heads out from around the tree, but I knew my

buck was one of them. The big doe started getting nervous and bolted and

soon all the other deer followed. One of the two deer started to take off

from behind the oak tree so I went to full draw, it was the doe. While at

full draw I saw out the corner of my eye the buck starting to follow the

rest of the deer. It was now or never. I placed the sight pin on the front

of his shoulder and released. The buck jumped right into the arrow, a

perfect double lung pass through. I could see the hole from the arrow as

he ran off. I watched him run while thinking to myself, "please don't

cross the river" and 30 yards from where I shot him is where he dropped. My

buck was a 7 point. This buck wasn't a monster or even close to it. I

will however remember this hunt more than any other hunt I've had so far.

The buckless late season I have had since I've started bow hunting in1989

had come to an end.

There is bow hunting for bucks after gun season. True

story by Avid hunter Mike Adams

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