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my addiction

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ok, this morning was a bust, and my original plan to go hunt that spot from last season fell through, so I decided to push a little further around the perimmiter of the area I believe is holding the crazy horn buck and possibly the bruiser as well as a few other assorted basket eights I've gotten on camera.

I pushed in from the north, taking the easiest route possible into the wind as to keep noise, effort(sweat) and scent invasion to a minimum.

all went very well. I found a nice opening but a proper tree, left me quite in the open, so I hesitated to push farther, but I did. on my way to the next possible ambush location, I saw two more scrapes. I was really treading lightly now.

again the trees available were less than desireable, but I found one I figured would work and ascended to 20 feet.

two and a half hours later, I heard a crunch, thud then a moment later the little f'r blew. it came in in the thick balsam patch silent undetected and unfortunately , down wind.

well, it's better than I've done in the last week. things are looking up.

20 minutes later, it was time to bunch it. I couldn't see good enough to pull off a shot if one were to present itself. I unstrapped my summit and a deer jumped right where I hoped one would come in, only maybe fifteen minutes earlier?

all I saw was a big white ass.

it bounded and made it's way around me, but never winded me.

I clum down the tree and as I was taking the bottom section of the climber off the tree, another bounded away from the other side of this opening.

I put the sections together and hoisted the stand onto my back and another bounded away.


as I stepped over the first log, another bounded away.

put it this way, I lost track.

I think I have found where they are.

now, how to get in there and see movement during the daylight...

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Ouch. Sounds like where you are, you ought to just toss a'd probably take the family a week to cut 'em up on an assembly line.

Are you in one of the extra tag zones? We can get 2 apiece in 115 (Ely)

I'm getting jazzed up about Saturday, too. Last week, there was a nice rub & turds in the front yard, and a big fresh scrape behind my new stand.

I handed Jellio a check for the contest...I'm feeling lucky. Now I have to GET lucky.

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I've got a good feeling. things are about to swing my way.

this afternoon, I went back to the spot where like 2 1/2 weeks ago, I saw a shooter buck but had no shot. it was not my intentions to hunt the same exact spot. rather, I would use that entrance to get further down wind and around the bedded deer I encountered yesterday.

as soon as I left the truck, I saw the tracks. nice wide, 2 1/2 inches wide and long.

no mistaking this one.

I turned around and headed back to the same tree I clum when I saw that buck.

I set out my golden estrus cover leaves to hide the fact that being 70 fricken degrees, I sweated more than I hoped I would.

without disturbing the area more than I absolutely had to, I clum that beast of an aspen once again.with mature hardwoods, a mix of aspen, birch and balsam in front of me, I could easily see the forest floor out to fifty yards in most places.

an aspen slash of pecker sized poplar lay out behind me and a tight ribbon of balsam created the transition between.

4:04..I was running a bit late, but not to bad.

it was very nice out and I had a good feeling with my set up.

about 5:00, I heard the crunch behind me that was definitely not a red squirrel.

I strained to spy the first of two faces come out of the slash and through the balsams towards me. it apeared to be a spiker but I couldn't tell for sure. I knew it was no shooter buck.

the second looked to be the same. I was hoping ti was a flat top I could put in the freezer.

they came closer and followed the way I came to my tree. I knew they were going to bust me.

I could here every footstep in the dry crunchy leaves as the first one, a spindly little forkhorn came directly next to my tree. I waited for the alarm to sound and it never did.

the second deer cleared the balsams and both offered me perfect ten yard shots.

not even a question of should I came to mind.

I knew i could relax and watch the deer.

they hung around for about 20 minutes and slowly made their way south towards the area I saw the deer yesterday.

nothing else stepped out and it was almost time to go home.

I thought about it for a moment.

you know, all the years I have hunted that piece of property, I have never seen a doe from stand there.

many times I saw nothing, but I saw three eights or better, a stupid looking fork horn last year and these two.

I thought that was rather remarkable.

maybe I'll shoot one tomorrow :)

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well today is yesterday's tomorrow, but I did not shoot one.

it's not over yet either.

I went to the same tree being the wind was about exactly the same and the overnight rain should have freshened up anything I tainted.

again, I clum the big aspen tree.

I hate this tree, but it is in about the right location, surrounded by balsams and very straight.

the thing I dont like is the bark is very heavy and it has a couple of growth splits making it a little hair raising when climbing up or coming down.

the bark sometimes allows the cables under pressure to jump down to a more suitable spot. this causes the stand to drop instantly like a half inch to an inch which in turn sends my heart out of time which makes me contemplate life and all the good things that surround me.

I like ash trees much better, they don't seem to find me pondering my situation quite so deeply.

the rain looked (by radar) to be hit or miss. I always say go when it's hit or miss.

sometimes I go no matter the weather, but today looked like a fair chance to stay relatively dry.

about an hour into the sit, something told me to look left into an area I had thought to thick to seen into and instantly I caught movement. maybe the doe I've never seen here before?

no...a buck..not a large one either.

what looked like a fork horn actually turned out to be a six point with a decent rack.

I held judgement until it would offer up a decent shot.

again, like the two from last night it came in right on my tracks. directly underneath me and again, no alarm. I must be doing something right.

it paused and moved back into the safety of the balsams and munched it's way south like the others had done the evening before, offering no chance for a shot.

I had three calls while I was in my stand. I usually turn it off, but I left it on vibrate this morning.

the third call found me half way down the tree...yes dear, no home soon.

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lets hope the big news is gas in deer river hit under 2 clams and the jiggle is dancing buck ass naked in the streets,

his new god given indian name would be jigglestreak.

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well lets just say, after 31 years, with the hard work, help and encouragement of guys and gals like yourselves, I got it done!

as the saga unfolds, I have been hunting an area of public land that has been harboring at least three nice bucks that I know of including one I almost spelled boner.

anyhow as some of you have been reading, I past on a marginal opportunity on an eight that had some junk, I thought after the pictures it may have been the crazy horn buck...not sure.

then two afternoons I had a fork and spiker come underneath me, then yesterday morning a 6 come right directly under me.

I had a good feeling about this morning. when I woke up it was pouring rain, but with just two mornings left before all hell breaks loose with the rifles and city slickers, there was no question I would go out and sit as long as I could until I got soaked to the bone and couldn't stand it any more.

I woke my ever so understanding wife and told her this was the day. honest to god. I told her to get ready with the camera.

I headed out to the same strip of balsams as I had seen the three other bucks the last couple of days.

my game plan had evolved from using the balsam as cover, to sitting out from the balsam as I figured the deer were using it as cover, like a travel corridor. I would choose a tree outside 15 - 20 yards as to have better shooting opportunities into the balsam.

as it turned out, I got to the balsams right on time.

these balsams as I stated before are the transition of mature hardwoods to harvested aspen of 16 year growth.

I will never under-estimate the value of a transitional area again.

I looked now for the perfect tree away from the strip of balsams. the first choice had a widdow maker leaning against it and without considerable effort, it was going to remain there, in the way.

I looked for my second choice. it was a nice straight aspen and I made my way to it, over and around deadfalls and other natural obstacles, I strapped my climber to it, and started up. after my second ratchet, I decided this was not the tree for today.

the tree had an awful lean to it, causing the climber to be way out of whack, and feeling completely unsafe, I clum my way back down.

now time was ticking away.

looking and not finding another suitable tree in which to observe the protective balsam barrier, I opted to pick another tree inside the protection of the balsams.

I clum that aspen tree and settled in for what turned out to be a rather short sit.

I had only caught my breath from the climb when I noticed a deer coming my way through the openness of the hardwoods.

A doe. what? she must die.

so, as she came nearer, I raised my self, then reflex buckskin.

she went behind some balsam boughs and I came to full draw.

when she stepped into my pin, I should have stopped her with a bark, but instead I let fly.

I could have sworn I hit her, but a little back I thought.

she bounded forward about 25 feet and stopped in the safety of the conifers, looking back at the spot I just shot at her from.

I could see her looking, sniffing, and she even licked her nose.

How could I have missed her?

I couldn't see my arrow.

she simply wandered off and I just stood there stunned.

I never miss when target practicing.

heck, I even practiced this very shot yesterday with every hit in the kill zone.

I even took one in the neck for good practice.

I told myself, sit down.

if you missed her, you missed her. if you hit her, your going to have to leave her anyway. at least a half hour.

who knows, maybe a buck will follow her in.

so there I sat.

all these hours in the stand, all these showers. the scent free laundry routine. all comes down to this.

I took a deep breath trying to relax. Then I saw movement. coming in the same way as the doe, I knew it had to be, and it was, a mature buck with his nose to the ground!

he was coming in just as she had, and I knew exactly what he was going to do.

31 years of deer hunting and never a decent buck.

granted, for many of those years I didn't care if had spikes, forks or what ever, if it had horns that was good enough for me.

Now I have been hunting hard for the last ten years or so for a decent buck.

I have had near misses, blunders and good old fashioned hard luck, but this year, I was bound and determined to smack a nice buck before rifle season and with two days left, the pressure was on.

he kept coming in just as the doe had. I stood, with my second arrow nocked, clipped my release to the D-loop, and waited. it wasn't long when the buck reached the last log the doe had jumped before I shot at her.

he sniffed, hopped and was behind the same balsam branch, allowing me to come to full draw.

he hesitated, then stepped into my 20 yard pin and I let her fly.

THWACK!! I'll never forget that sound.

It was just like in the movies.

I hit him a bit high I thought but not bad. he bounded away forward and right. by the third bound, I could see blood rushing from his entry wound.

then he disappeared.

I was so over pumped I had to sit down. I set my bow down on the rail in front of me and looked straight up.

I said my thanks and asked for help.

I was shaking so bad I couldn't climb down so I sat there.

then it started to rain again. "oh no" I thought, "I'm going to loose blood trail"

I called my brother who I work for and has allowed me the time to persue my addiction, for help tracking.

there was no answer, so I called my IBOT brother Goose and got him out of bed.

I told him where I was and he was on the road in minutes.

I made my way down the tree after about fifteen minutes.

I knew I had to look for my arrows and to my surprise, they were both there in the dirt by the tree they passed by, not 6 inches from each other, both covered in blood!


still not confident in the first hit, I went to where she stood, and there, was a puddle of thick dark blood. the white hair made me think the hit on the doe was back and low.

as it turned out, it was the tail end of the lung and passing out through the abdominal wall out low.

As I waited on Goose, the rain continued, so I pushed a bit further to get a direction on the buck who left a nice blood trail.

Again, I chose to wait.

I rifled through my cell address book, then called my brother Steve who was on his way up for deer camp.

I told him when I figured out what was going on, I'd call him.

I called him back 3 minutes later to tell him I had found my buck, not forty yards from where I shot at it!!



As Goose made his way to my location, he yelled and I heard him. I answered back.

I told him I found the buck, and he yelled,that the doe was bedded along side the trail.

she was hit good, but low. she wouldn't get up.

we dealt with the buck and waited in the truck for a half hour and in that time, she expired.

I got them both!


thanks to you all for listening to my ramblings. I am so high right now, I cant think of anything but next season.

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Jiggs, when I got your message, I came up, turned on the computer and prepped for a good story. It was better then that, it was awesome! I started from the top and read all your "my addiction" posts. Awesome!

Not being a deer hunter myself, it really made me want to pick up a bow. Yes, a bow. Fuck the riffle shit! A nice buck taken by a bow seems much more self satisfying, rewarding, blood pumpin exciting.....well you get what I mean.

Awesome report Jiggs and congrats to you! You deserve it!

I see homepage material! :D


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