Have you flipped through the February/March 2012 issue of North American Hunter yet? Take a look at my “Whitetails”column. The title is “What Would You Do?” I present a series of questionable in-the-field circumstances and how I would respond to each of them.
Starting now, I’ll present two additional scenarios in my blog within the next few weeks. Weigh-in with your responses to the question, “What would you do?” On March 15, 2012, the NAH editors will choose their favorite response and the winner will score a scent control care package from Hunter’s Specialties.
It’s a blustery, snowy day as you watch a grassland location between two deep, dark, timbered draws, one on your property and one on the neighbors.
The crest of the pasture includes an invisible border between you and the absentee landowner who almost never hunts or even visits the property. Both of you have been lacking in the enthusiasm department to get the boundary fenced, but with no livestock on either property there is no rush.
Suddenly a doe’s head appears, followed by a buck carrying the largest set of antlers you’ve ever seen. As quickly as they appear, they disappear back toward the neighbor’s timber. Did you really just see a giant buck? Is it going to return and possibly run your way?
Not waiting for answers, you steady your rifle in the direction of the disappearing duo and wait. Seconds seem like minutes, but the rutting pair once again dashes into sight in an obvious sign of rutting behavior. You swing slightly, questioning whether they are on your side of the property or not. Again, they dart out of sight straight away. Frustrated, you grip the rifle tighter, hoping they’ll show again.
Your wish is granted, and this time the doe, without hesitating, beds directly on the crest of the ridge with the buck standing right below her in a clear display of dominance to any other bucks waiting in the wings. You now have a clear shot, but truly don’t know which side of the boundary the buck stands.
Low visibility, tall grass and rolling terrain create uncertainty, plus the buck’s large antlers have the adrenaline surging through your veins. It’s a matter of feet either way.
What would you do? Weigh-in using the comment box below.