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BobT

The silly, whacky world of wildlife

8 posts in this topic

Thought it would be fun to share unique, strange, silly experiences, etc. from the field. Here’s one of my favorites.

If I learned one thing about bow hunting for deer, I learned that it provides opportunities you just can’t experience during any other deer hunting season. With hunting pressure and the rut virtually non-existent yet and our ability to use camouflage to conceal ourselves, I believe the deer are still relaxed and we can see them for the silly creatures they really are. There are times I had to forgo taking a shot because I was literally busting a gut laughing at their antics.

On one rather nasty late afternoon in September the wind was blowing about 40mph, it was about 35 degrees, raining, snowing, you name it and I was hunting a local CRP field that I had never hunted before. This field was adjacent to a couple small ponds about five acres each. There was about a fifty-foot wide land bridge between the two ponds that created a natural funnel and as evident by the wildlife trail, I could see it was being used quite a bit. I decided to position myself downwind of the trail near one end of the land bridge. Between me and one of the ponds that was somewhat behind me off my right shoulder was about a one hundred-foot buffer of rather thick brush. I was kneeling on the ground and from my position about the only thing above the top of the grass was my head so I felt I was concealed quite well.

After a while I thought I could hear what sounded like something walking. After listening intently for a while I convinced myself that it was ridiculous to think I could hear anything moving around with the wind blowing the way it was and the fact that everything was so wet. It wouldn’t be very likely that I would hear anything walk, especially a deer.

The sound continued to permeate my ears and I wasn’t moving a muscle, trying to pinpoint its direction. It seemed to be coming from over my right shoulder from within the brush toward the pond. Curiosity finally got the best of me so I turned my head to have a look and to my surprise I was staring into the face of a doe! If her nose would have been any closer to my earlobe, I should have been able to feel her breath!

Well, to say that we were both startled is a gross understatement. I was so surprised I dropped my bow on the ground and she took a leap sideways. There she stood, about 10 yards from me staring at me. She’d move her head up and down and from side to side is short robotic-like movements, stomping her feet, and blowing, trying desperately to get me to make a move. To this day I’m convinced that the sound I was hearing was her sniffing the back of my neck.

Me? Well I froze…didn’t even blink. We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, neither one wanting to make that first move. I was hoping that I could win the stare-down and she would eventually relax and continue on her way possibly giving me a good opportunity. I’ll tell you, my heart was so far up in my throat I’m surprised I wasn’t gagging but at the same time I had all I could do to keep from laughing at the things she was doing.

Well, you just can’t beat a deer at its own game and when it comes to patience, they are the captain. My anxiety and adrenaline began to build to the point that I was barely able to continue to kneel and my eyes began to burn from lack of moisture. I held out as long as I could but eventually I had no choice but to blink. That ever so slight motion was all it took to send her fleeting. All I could do was watch as that warning flag bobbed and weaved out of sight. One thing is certain. I will never forget that day. What a thrill!

Bob

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Great post BobT.

On a windy October morning two seasons ago, I hadn't seen anything all morning and was exiting my stand. As I was climbing down facing the tree, the tree was large enough to conceal my whole body as I was decending and when I reached the bottom and started to walk around the tree, I was face to face with a little spike buck.

He turned so fast that he hit his head against the tree and then proceeded to trip several times as he was trying to get outta dodge. I laughed so hard that I hard a stomach ache the rest of the day.

Still makes me laugh thinking about it.

Mysterio

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I bow hunt but this was while I was slug hunting one time. I was sitting a over hanging tree where the path went right under the tree. I had made a seat on the tree and was very cozy. I saw two little doe's coming out of the swamp and heading right downt the trail. It was late and I only had about 5 min of shooting time left so I thought I would have alittle fun with them. I stated to sway my dangling legs abit. That got there attention. After a min they kept coming. After the first one passed under me I moved my leg again and the second doe looked right up at me. After about 10 seconds I really lightly spit down and the little drop landed right square on her nose. He jumped and bucked and could not figure out what had happened. Well she took off and as I turned around to get down from my tree he was mama doe looking at me with the two kids. I laugh so hard at what she might have been thinking when the little one went nutz.

Froggy

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About three years ago, I got to watch a life and death drama with an otter and a coot.

It was a very windy opener, and I was hunkered up in some cattails in my duckboat with a six month old lab pup. Well, this otter started swimming around us, and literally crawled over the back end of the boat. Luckily, I had the pup shackled pretty well or it could have been ugly. The otter swam out, and was looking at us, trying to figure out what was going on. It seemed more curious than anything. It swam back into the cattails up wind of us, and about 15 seconds later all hell broke loose.

A coot came rocketing out of the reeds, with the otter hot on its tail. The coot got airborne just before the otter caught up. Man, those otters can flat out MOVE when they are after something.

I had another incident that was petty funny while dark house spearing. I had a 4 x 8 shack with a wood stove, so the heat was really hard to regulate. I was fishing a sharp break near shore, watching a big sucker minnow on a harness.

During one of the hot cycles of the wood stove, I was pretty drowsy, and started to drift off. Just as I was entering that 'hazy' kind of surreal feeling as you fall asleep, a big beaver came steaming through just below the ice. Cripes! I dropped the spear and bailed out of the house, trying to figure out if I had just dreamed this, or if it was real.

It happened a few more times, so it was definately for real. Scared the heck out of me every time it happened too.

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On another bow-hunting adventure I was hunting along the edge of a corn field that bordered a small woodlot of about ten acres. I knew an area where the deer had a habit of crossing into a corn field in the evening so I positioned myself to watch that crossing. I was on the ground nestled among some brush and grass when it didn’t take long to hear the familiar sound of a deer’s footsteps. I hunkered down among the grasses and listened. My plan was to wait until I heard the deer walk past, hoping to have an opportunity for a quartering away shot.

So here I am crouched low, more or less on my hands and knees waiting for this deer to walk past. I hear it go over the fence and stop as I expected but then it seemed to be waiting a really long time. After a few minutes of silence I decided to try and get a look to see what it was doing to find out why it was hesitating so much.

When I turned my head and cranked my neck around enough to see, I found myself staring up at its belly! It wasn’t ten feed from me, standing on the trail and to this day I don’t know how it didn’t catch my scent or hear me breathe. I could see that something past me in the distance had caught its attention. Its tail was slowly lifting and falling giving me the impression that it wasn’t quite comfortable with what it was seeing. Eventually, it apparently decided things were not quite right and just nonchalantly turned and left.

After composing myself and coming down from my high I decided to take a look to find out what caught its attention. About a hundred yards away toward a tree line I could see this round shiny object. It was about sunset and I couldn’t quite make out what the object was so I started walking toward the object to investigate. Not until I got about half way there did I realize there was another hunter. A friend of mine had come out later and I wasn’t aware he was going to be there.

Oh yeah, the shiny object was his face! He was standing in front of some brush wearing olive green military surplus clothing but his face was lit up like a beacon from the sunset. From where the deer was standing, you couldn’t make out his body but his face was a different matter. I don’t know about other skin colors but our Caucasian skin reflects the sun like a mirror. That day I learned a lot about the importance of covering your face.

Bob

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This happened a few years back and always comes up around the deer camp fire. I was sitting in a stand and was there for the day. Morning was slow nothing moving except for the chipmuncks and the bird. Where I had my stand was about 100 yds from a dirt road. I heard a vehicle drive by and the sound of the driver hammering the brakes. I could hear him open his door and asking if everyone was OK. He said he hit a deer. Just as he said that I caught movement coming from the voices. A little fawn came bouncing right up to where I was sitting. I mean the same tree where my stand was set up. This fawn laid down right underneath me. This was at about 3:00 in the afternoon. The calling of bleeps were like a baby crying for it's mother. I knew exactlly what happened to it's mother and could only sit there a feel sorry for this little thing. It was getting close to quitting time so I started to climb down. The fawn was rolled up in a ball sitting as still as possible when I stepped to the ground. I mean I was 3 feet from it. Finally it stood up and I kneeled down and reached out to touch it and it scooted off into the swamp. Sad to say I don't know but I highly doubt it made it on it's own. Just goes to show how in a minute of time life can change so quick.

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when I was young, I would go and sit with my dad during deer season. When I was 10, I went with him and was going to rattle. I sat on the ground and he would signal me when I should rattle. There was a swamp with thick brush around it about 20 yards in front of me. My dad was signaling that he could see deer behind him. but no bucks. And he signaled for me to rattle. I started rattling and was looking to my right to try to see the does. When all of sudden I hear a crash in front of me. I jurked my head fast and all I saw was a big buck charging straight at me. The buck saw me move or realized I was not a deer, and put on the brakes. Dirt flew up on me and I could have kicked him in the head, thats how close he was. I was froze to the tree I was leaning on. I looked up at my Dad and he was white. He never got a shot, and we called it a night after that. Needless to say I dont rattle on the ground any more.

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I have so many of these stories I could write a book:) One that comes to mind though....."I was in my early 20's deer hunting my parents farm in NW Wisc.I was hunting a field around 500yds x 300yds surrounded on all sides by pinetrees. The field was made up of thigh high yellow/gold grass.There were pine trees(4ft-6ft tall) that had popped up sporadically thought the field.I had been seeing some MONSTER bucks coming out of this stand of pine trees every evening.I get the bright idea of hiding underneath one of those pines to ambush the big boy when he comes out. Well I had only crawled my upper half of my body under the pine with my lower half sticking out into the tall grass.A while later I start to hear what sounds like a sheep "baa'ing". It keeps getting closer and closer,louder and louder. Well I scoot my self backwards out from underneath that pinetree and just roll over onto my back when this doe goes flying over the top of me "baaa'ing" the whole time! I'm lying there trying to get my heart out of my throat breathe again when a fork horn goes barreling over me not 2 seconds behind that doe! I finally got my "wits" together and jumped to my feet with my rifle.After that experience I couldn't bring myself to shoot him I sat and watched that buck chase that poor doe all over that field,oblivious to anything and everything going on around him. This is one of my most favorite experiences that I've had. Like I said there have been several,there will probably be several more":)

Here is a pic of a few of the bucks that have come from "The Farm" 268332406_76961647a9.jpgsmile.gif

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      No internet in the field today. Had a group sky busting keeping birds out of anyone's range. Riverrat and I got buzzed by teal a few time and a pair of woodies scooted through. Should have had a shoveler and some woodies. The bugs were so bad I lost 4 pints of blood.  Now to the fun parts Finn was jumping woodcock son the fields on our way out. Finn did good but does not like no action. After leaving the refuge I checked my dads pond. O yeah there was a woodie sitting on the log bang!! No finn needs to do his job. Finn did good he got it and brought it back to me!! Way to go Finn. 
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