I returned to Pine Mountain late this afternoon to a different deer stand. The hunt was blessed with serendipitous events. I got to the tree stand and started up the ladder. As I reached the top rungs, I turned around to scan the large green plot behind me. Not 50 yards away three deer were feeding. There was nothing I could do -- suspended in air. My rifle was slung over my shoulder and unloaded. I quietly lifted the camoflage veil and got situated on the platform. When I finally turned around the deer were still there!
I silently watched the deer graze until something spooked them; the larger doe bolted and the two yearlings followed suit. The field didn't stay lonely long; three more deer came in from the other end and started feeding. A few minutes later, a spike horn and then a 4 pointer entered the field; the does were on full alert. Both of the young bucks stopped briefly at a persimmon tree and then slipped into a stand of tall pines.
The fun began when a big bodied 6 pointer came in from the road on my left. If you think the rut has yet to begin, nobody told him. For twenty minutes he tried to get a dance partner; none of the does were interested. Several times he chased a doe within 15 yards of my stand. I let him go. No bang for the buck.
Next year will be a different story.