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Old 12-23-2012, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 88
Southwick, Mass 8 Pointer

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Got permission to hunt some private land in Southwick, Mass (Western Mass) not far from my house in CT. First afternoon I hunted it I passed on a smallish bodied five pointer. Grunted at the five point and watched him in the binocs for about an hour. On my next visit I did some walking around and moved to a new area where two ridges come together. There was a very fresh scrape line and a bunch of good rubs that told me there was a decent buck in the area regularly. I'm mentoring a young hunter and he didn't have $100 for an out of state license but wanted to join me on the hunt anyway so he could learn and help as a second set of eyes and if a drag was necessary.

We sat together at the top of the ridge. We were set up on the ground right beside the scrape line and one of the fresh scrapes. The bedding area was to our backs and the hollow where the two ridge came together were below us and we had a good view of our ridge and the opposite ridge. Typical of the kind of set up I like when buck hunting.

We sat together for one hour and took turns grunting and glassing. Didn't see anything but on several occasions after grunting we heard branches snap as if a buck were moving in the bedding area or decided to get up after being bedded down. After one hour of not seeing any deer I decided we should get up and still hunt up the scrape line twenty or thirty yards where I planned to sit for another hour or so.

Hadn't taken five steps when my buddy Dan said he thought he heard a deer coming up the scrape line from behind him. We froze, I turned around to check our back trail and I listened and I heard the deer coming too. Then I saw it was a decent rack buck and whispered to Dan "it's a buck, don't move". Dan had his back to the buck since we were still hunting forward but he did a great job of freezing in place. The buck had his head down and was working the scrape line in full rut. He had one thing on his mind and was grunting with his nose to the ground so he didn't see me or Dan.

The buck was about 50 yards away when it cleared Dan so I could start tracking it with my gun and scope. There was quite a bit of heavy brush between the buck and me. I shoot both eyes open so I used my left eye to project where the buck was going to go and I moved the gun to an opening in the forest and waited for the buck to walk into the opening which he did. As soon as he walked into my cross hairs I fired and I made a good shot right behind the front shoulder where I aimed. The whole time I was tracking the buck in the scope Dan remained frozen and did not attempt to move so he could see the buck.

When the buck was hit it wheeled around and ran right in Dan's direction and almost ran him over! As soon as I fired Dan turned so he saw the buck running right at him. His eyes became as big as saucers as you could imagine. This is his first year hunting and a good size rack buck was running right at him! The buck ran so close to Dan it nearly brushed his shoulder! Then it turned a bit and ran into the hollow and piled up next to a dead fall.

Dan was really excited. It was the first rutting buck he's ever seen up close and personal and he's such an avid hunter he said it's the coolest thing he's ever seen! He hasn't seen much since it's his first year hunting but the whole thing was pretty exciting even for me. I was really happy Dan was there to share the experience. His parents called me afterward to thank me for taking him and to tell me what a great time he had and that he couldn't stop talking about the hunt. It took Dan and I about 90 minutes to drag the buck back to the truck and it was well worth the effort. Not one of my better racks but definitely one of my favorite hunts because Dan was there to share it with me.

I will try and get some pics of the 8 pointer to go with the story. It dressed out at 175 pounds. Bigger body than rack. Would have been a really nice deer in a year or two.
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