Outdoor Snooper - “Buck #11”

Nice to see you again. As promised, “Snooper” is going to tell you about some of the bucks he has taken over the years. Buck #11 was taken during the season of 1977. This was the time of pheasants. Besides hunting the gaudy birds with my English Setters, I could also scout for deer. By the time buck season rolled around, “Snooper” had picked out three good stands.

One - a pipeline crossing, - the second, what I called the hidden field, and - the third, a strip of sapplings next to an orchard with many trails and scrapes. The pipeline and hidden field were local and close to my house, while the sappling stand was several miles away, and I might use it for a quick hunt on the way to school. I decided to hunt the pipeline the first day. A little mound with a tree to hide behind was an easy set-up. Just in case, I went to the hidden field and cut some small branches for better shooting. The sappling stand I wouldn’t trim until the middle weekend of the season - just in case I didn’t have a buck.

The first day, as I walked up the pipeline, I see the flashlight of another hunter on the other side of the line, also going up the hill. Soon, the light goes out and I forget about the hunter. When I get to the pipeline stand, I ready things and wait. Light comes and so does the buck. At about 100 yards, I see the rack of a buck crossing the pipeline and heading my way. At 50 yards, he stops and goes back and across the pipeline.

Leaning against the tree, I line up the buck and fire. The buck jumps and runs across the line and into the woods -- Bang -- the other hunter! I was shocked as I had forgotten all about him. I walk across the line and there lays an 8 point buck with two bullet holes, and the hunter standing over him, with his knife out and yelling for his buddy -- his deer. You can imagine how I felt! I didn’t hunt the rest of the day.

Several evenings later,I decided to go to the hidden field. I park my truck, walk through a little gully, and up the last hump to my cleared stand. Getting everything ready, I relax and wait - and wait. With it getting dark and about five minutes of shooting time left, a doe and two fawns come out. The fawns keep looking into the woods, and out steps a high rack buck - no time left to count points. In the prone poisition, I rest the rifle on a branch, find the buck in my scope, and fire -- after the flames die down, I see four deer run up the field and into the woods. Did I miss, or was the buck in his death run? After spending 15 minutes looking with a flashlight, I concluded I had missed. The next day after school, I spent an hour looking for the buck, but as an old timer used to say, “no find, no find. “

I went back to the stand and discovered my problem. When I cut the sapplings, I was on my knees, so I cut them high. When I laid down to shoot, some of the sapplings were not cut low enough. My bullet must have hit a higher sappling. Sure enough, there was a splintered bent over growth. Now I’m fit to be tied! The next day on the way home from school, I stop at my third stand and find the trails were being used, and the scrapes were really dug up. The next morning I dressed for school but wore insulated coveralls over my suit, with insulated boots. Parking at an old shed, I walk around the sapplings and find a good scrape and hide. Looking down the trail, I see the form of a deer walking my way. It stops,makes a scrape, and continues -- it’s a buck! Resting my .270 against a tree, I find the buck in the scope, line up the cross hairs, and fire. The expected flame shoots out and I can see the buck collapse - a nice six pointer -- worth waiting for!

As I cleaned out the buck, something keeps getting in my way -- oh yea, it’s my tie. In the excitement, I forgot I was dressed more for teaching than for hunting. I took the deer to school with the idea of showing it to my biology classes. Some people got excited, then I was told to take the deer home and someone would cover for me until I got back to school!

See you next time.

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