Hunter’s Journal: Hunt On Rum Creek
By Adam Reas
So I was picked to go on the November rut hunt at Rum Creek WMA, which was a three-day hunt Nov. 9-11. I went up to Rum Creek on Wednesday, Nov. 8 and camped for three nights, but rain was in the forecast on the night of Nov. 11. I decided to get out of the stand Saturday around 10 a.m., go pack up and head back home, so I wouldn’t be packing up in the rain Sunday morning.
I arrived home about 2 p.m. to an empty house with the family in Atlanta, so I washed up, put my clothes in the wash and went out to my Peach County lease. It was Veterans Day, which has always been a productive day in the woods in this area.
I arrived to the property about 3:30, checked the wind, which was an east-northeast wind, and knew which stand I needed to hunt—the White Oak Stand. This stand is one of my favorites. It’s a transition area between bedding to the south and southeast, water to the east and northeast and food plot with oaks dropping all around and in the food plot (with white oaks in the plot) and a nice field to the west.
I got settled in the stand and turned the UGA/Auburn game on and watched the game, all while keeping an eye on the area. With several trails leading to the food plot and a feeder set to go off at 5:15, I waited.
At 5:40, with light starting to fade, I caught movement to my front left, and just by the size of the body, I knew it was a buck. He came in from the north, just off the field about 25 yards heading straight to me, and he was facing me. He stopped, scanned the food plot and turned to his left, fully broadside to me. I grunted, and instead of just stopping, he took one step and turned to his right and was quartering to me. I hate that shot, but it’s all I had, so I put the crosshairs on the front of his right shoulder, aiming for an exit behind his left shoulder and pulled the trigger.
At that point I was sick. The buck didn’t jump, stumble or act hit at all. I collected my gear, climbed down and went to the truck, giving the buck some time. I called a few friends and discussed the shot with them. I had a buddy down the road hunting, so I waited on him to arrive about 20 minutes later, and we decided to go look where he was standing.
I found his tracks where he turned and ran but no blood, so I followed his tracks. By this time, 45 minutes had passed since the shot. I continued to follow his running tracks with not a drop of blood. As his tracks entered the woods, and with no blood to follow, a roller coaster of emotions came over me. Did I miss? Was he injured? Why did I take that shot?
I went back to the first track and just started thinking like a deer. If I was hit, which way would I go? I decided to take the trail heading down toward the ponds, and 30 yards in the woods I saw eyes reflecting back. I couldn’t believe it. There he was, and he was down. As I approached in awe of his size—antlers and body—I began to examine the shot. The bullet entered right where I thought, in front of the right shoulder, but there was no exit wound and not a drop of blood on his fur.
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