For the 1st time in a while, Travis and I hunted together. Thought we'd give the cameraguys a break from us (especially Tyler...I know he needed some time away ). On the way to the The Chase farm in Saline Cty, IL, I got an email from Jeff Ensor - producer, editor, co-Host of NonStop Hunting and...well, just a "really big deal". He said our Sunday 6pm time slot on Pursuit was a done deal! Travis was so excited, he yelled! (Other than Alabama football and big deer, T doesn't get excited about much.) Anyway, we made the decision I'd fill my buck tag first, and then hunt does. Once we got to our Summit Hawk lockons (a little late...but not entirely my fault) situated between 2 beautiful Pennington seed fields, the 1st animal out giving me a perfect shot was a DOE. Travis asked if I wanted to take her as he felt she was an ornary one who needed to be taken (uh, oh...)..I reminded him of our conversation less than 30 minutes ago. He knows my resistance is weak when it comes to letting animals who give me a perfect quartering-away broadside shot...but integrity usually prevails!
We watched her and and her button buck feed for over an hour, as well as 4 other does,and we heard more deer moving in...4 small bucks came in (one of them limping...don't understand why at least one is always limping in front of me..), never saw or smelled us (thanks ScentBlocker!!!) and they fought less than 17 yds away! It was so cool! They were scraping and marking right in front of us! As the sun went down, Travis heard a buck chasing some does...all he could see were horns headed toward us...I was ready...I.'d been ready....When the 8 pt buck stepped out and I immediately looked at his body, rather than his rack, and determined he was too young. Meanwhile, Travis has his horns zoomed in and said, "his G2's are so tall...his racks' outside the ears...what do you want to do, Stretch (his nickname for me)?" I struggled briefly with the decision but stuck with it. The closer he came - walking broadside the whole time - the more I questioned his age and at the same time, Travis is saying, "He's bigger than your Texas deer but only 2 1/2." I questioned whether the larger size was true but when he confirmed the 2.5 yr old., I took off my release. Plus, if he was older, why would the buck be fighting these 1 - 1.5 year old deer? However, Travis went back and forth and I told him to quit being so indecisive! That's usually my role! Thankfully, it had gotten too dark to film so he will walk for another year (hopefully). Thy bucks stayed FOREVER and no matter how many times Travis snort-wheezed, they weren't affected.
We're back at it this afternoon, as our sitter for Gray this morning had something come up. Tyler and Brady will be here around lunch, so hopefully we'll both bring home a Halloween treat!!
By the way, thanks for your prayers and messages for Gray! He's feeling much better today and is back to smiling, playing, and even said, "deer!".