( ORCC )
Frost crunched beneath his boots as he walked carefully to his stand. He was making a “scent trail” as he went. Pausing occasionally to freshen up the scent drag that he had tied to his boot lace, he wondered to him self. ” I’ve tried everything else, I wonder if today will be the day”.
As he approached a large scrape within thirty yards of his tree stand, he stopped short, moistening a cotton ball with dominant buck scent. Not wanting his scent too near the scrape, he tossed it as near to the scrape as he could.
His plan was to “rattle” antlers to simulate two bucks fighting. As the buck approached his scrape near the bogus “fight”, he would also smell the scent of a intruder buck.
He had seen this buck that he was hunting several times, he had been very cautious, never presenting a shot.
The goal for todays hunt was to cause the buck to be less cautious by making him focus on intruders in his main rutting area.
After quietly climbing into his tree stand, he hauled his bow and arrows up, carefully, quietly and slowly.
The wait had began.
Pre dawn birds chattered. Post dawn squirrels moved about, High flying jet aircraft could be herd.
But no buck.
Picking up the small binoculars up from the strap around his neck he began to slowly scan the area.
Then he saw something strange in a bush that was slightly down hill and away from the scrape.
Focusing the binoculars on it, he soon determined that it was his cotton ball.
The dominant buck scented cotton ball.
Worried about the distance he got his range finder from his fanny pack.
Forty seven yards ! How could that be ?
He began to get that sinking feeling in his gut.
Had I thrown the cotton ball at the wrong place in the dark ?
Had a fickle air current carried it in the wrong direction ?
With little choice now, he continued his vigil in the tree.
Putting his bow in a tree limb hanger he reached for the rattling antlers.
Even though the antlers only gently bumped togather,accidently, the reaction astonished him.
Adrenaline quickly surged through him as he saw “his” buck charging into the bush containing the cotton ball !
Immediately he knew it was over for today. The buck was “thrashing” the bush where the cotton ball was, well beyond where he felt comfortable shooting.
He sat there taking it all in. It was amazing. Power, speed, beauty, it was all there in a grand spectacle of wild animal fury.
Protecting his territory and his breeding rights, the buck put on a show like he had never seen before.
Adrenaline hit after adrenaline hit surged through him as the spectacle unfolded below.
Slowly the enraged buck withdrew in a stiff legged walk. His victory walk.
Amazed, the hunter just sat there, even after the buck was out of sight.
Soon he realised that his hands were shaking and as he stood up to stretch stiff joints, he felt a noticible tremble in his knees.
He had herd about it before, but had never experienced it.
The adrenaline had withdrawn from his system and left him weak and shaky.
It would soon pass.
Grandpa had talked about it, but he thought that it was an old folk tale.
He knew that he had just expierenced “buck agger” or “buck fever”.
Sitting back down quickly, he thought over the amazing event.
“Wow, I never picked up my bow, knocked an arrow, or took a shot, yet, I have had one of the most amazing hunts of my life !”.
Camera ! Holey cow, my camera is still in my fanny pack and I never even thought of it.