Hunter: Jay Lilly
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
My 14-year-old son, John had originally planned to hunt this stand but changed his mind in favor of another stand at the last minute. He had gotten his first buck, a 9-pointer opening weekend from that stand (see Week 6 entry) but we still had pictures of several nice deer in the area. I had seen one small buck shortly after sunrise and had only been on the stand for about an hour when I looked to my left and saw a buck coming out of a thick clearcut. The buck was only 50 yards away and walking directly toward me. I immediately recognized the deer once I had him in my scope. This was a deer we had several pictures of going back to September, and I had caught a glimpse of him opening weekend. The buck had no idea I was anywhere around, and I let him walk to within 20 yards before deciding to shoot. He only went about 40 yards before piling up. Shortly after the shot, three other bucks came into the area. One was a nice but young 8-pointer. He was standing over the buck I had just shot, and as other smaller bucks approached, he snort wheezed three times over the course of about 10 minutes. In over 30 years of deer hunting, I had never heard a deer do that before. Maybe those snort wheeze calls aren't gimmicks after all!