Hunter: Ralph Edwards
Points: 9 (5L, 4R)
I had settled into my ladder stand for a hunt at 6:00 AM Monday morning. Looking into the morning darkness, I noticed the light from a flashlight as someone walked down the ridge along the property line and to my left. My ladder was located about 70 yards from the edge of a large beaver pond. Part of the pond is on the property where my son, his wife, and I hunt. The remainder of the pond is located on adjacent property that a friend hunts. The light continued to move toward the pond and I could tell that two hunters were walking in front of the hunter who was holding the flashlight. I knew one of two things; I had a case of trespassing, or the son(s) of that friend were going duck hunting. I sent a text message to the friend to ask him if he or his sons were at the property to shoot ducks. He replied back that his son was home from college and was in fact at the property to shoot ducks Monday morning. I replied: “Well, just let them know I am about 70 yards from the pond in the hardwoods so that if I shoot they will not be too alarmed.” Thank you Lord for the Grace you have given me… I just sat back and relaxed in my ladder stand planning to enjoy hearing (and watching, undetected) 3 young men as they called and shot ducks on a cold Northeast Georgia morning. As things go,.... when the light began to appear at the horizon and legal shooting time arrived, the three began to blast away on the flying ducks. Knowing they had every right to hunt the pond, I just enjoyed the time, knowing that they would be gone as soon as the ducks stopped flying and they were able to retrieve the ones they shot. So I just sat quietly, staying very attentive for any deer movement in the woods around me. Sure enough, while the 3 duck hunters were retrieving the ducks they shot, I saw two young bucks approach a scrape located on the edge of a woods road on my right. Neither buck paid any attention to the hunters at the duck pond. The 3 hunters left with their ducks and the remainder of my morning hunt was uneventful. My son, his wife, and I were planning to hunt again Monday afternoon. I climbed back into my ladder stand about 3:15 PM. My daughter-in-law began seeing does right after she climbed into her stand. There was no activity around me until about 5:00. I saw a deer moving slowly through the woods near the beaver pond, but could not tell whether it was a doe or a buck. I watched as the deer went out of sight. About 10 minutes later I saw another deer walking the same trail as the earlier deer. I could not determine what that deer was either, so I just had to watch it go out of sight also. The woods were quiet. Then at 5:30 I heard leaves rustling up on the ridge out in front of me. Immediate thought…”that is not squirrels”…the rustling of leaves continued and I could tell that the noise was moving around as the animal(s) came closer to me. The evening light was fading fast! All of a sudden a doe appeared from behind a large double trunk poplar tree 40 yards in front of me. She was coming toward me and angling to my left. Then…this buck came from behind that same poplar tree. He only had her on his mind. Neither animal looked like they would stop, so as they got more to my left (I am a left handed shooter) I let out a crisp “BRRRAT” grunt and both animals came to an abrupt stop. The buck was looking for the source of his challenger. I had him in my scope and touched off a shot from my 25-06 Browning Stainless Stalker A-Bolt. He dropped in his tracks, the result of a shot to the neck/shoulder area.