After I filled my deer tag, I turned my attention to my wife and helping her get her tag filled.
We headed down to an area where we hunt on a local riverbottom where I have a double person treestand set up.
THis are has alot of deer but not generally the quality of deer such as the one I was lucky enough to harvest. Still there are good deer around the area.
The pre-rut is just starting up here in Montana so I decided to take the rattling horns and the grunt tube and see if we could make something happen.
We got set up in the stand and after letting things settle down for a little while I started with some soft grunting followed with light rattling.
30 minutes passed and nothing responded so I did another sequence and waited another 30 minutes. Again, nothing at all. It was pretty warm so I was not expecting much.
As teh sun dropped I did one more rattling session, this time pretty aggressively. Before I ended the session there was a loud noise about 100 yards to our right and back inteh brush. It sounded more like a roar then anything and I was extremely curious what had made that noise.
I grunted a couple more times and then we could hear the brush getting just torn up so obviously it was a buck and he was reved up.
The buck walked parallel to us down a fence line that was back in the brush adn then stopped roughly 75 yards away still back in the brush.
I told my wife to get readu because I was going to give him a challange grunt and if this was the domanent buck in the area he would be coming quick.
She got ready and I blew the grunt and within 10 seconds he broke out of the brush but he was behind a thick willow and all I could see was his legs.
He started to thrash the bush and did so for about 3 minutes. We still had no idea what he was as far as size went.
Then he put his head down and to his right and I caught a glimpse of his right antler and what looked like 5 heavy points and his left main beam which looked very heavy and then he lifted his head up and out of sight again.
I told my wife that when ever she had a clear shot at him to take it as he was a buck well over our 4 1/2 year old minimum.
The buck was 40 yards out now and I did not want to grunt again because I was worried he would get to close and wind us so we waited for what seemed like 30 minutes but was more like 5.
Finally he walked to the right and looked at us quickly and then dove his head and shoulders back into the bush preventing a clear shot on his front end.
As he was taking his frustrations out on the small tree, I noticed two does come out directly in front of us and walk within 3 yards of out tree and across the wind line.
They were so close that our scent must have been carried over them as they never spooked at all.
The buck finally stopped and took one step back and then turned directly at us and my wife hammered him perfectly in the whitepatch of his throat and he dropped instantly.
She worked teh action and we watched him for about 5 minutes before we climbed out of the tree stand to see what she had shot.
When we got over to him we found an extremely old buck, the oldest we had ever shot and the oldest I had ever seen in that area for teh 18 years I have been hunting it.
He only scores 130" B&C but his teeth say he is in the 8 to 9 year old range. Probably two years past his prime horn size.
He was a clean 6x5 and his best feature is his mass. His three smallest circumference measurements are his D$ on his right antler at 4 1/8" and his two base measurements at 4 6/8" each. All five of his other measurements are 5" or over.
His body size was huge as well at 330 lbs live weight.
This was perhaps the most exciting hunt I have ever been on for myself or anyone else. To have a big mature buck like that respond to the horns is more exciting then I can explain and then to have my wife make a great shot to anchor him on the spot.
It was certainly not a long shot but it was a tough hunt mentally for her to wait that long for a clean shot with a big buck right in front of her.
It was a hell of a night and weekend. Now that we are done, I won't know what to do with myself the rest of the season, oh ya, guess I will have to work in the shop!!!
Hope everyone else has great luck this hunting season.