Saturday, December 01, 2007

Chasing The Monster

Well, it was fun week, though I failed to bring back any meat. Still having plenty of venison left over from last year, and wanting to keep some room in the freezer for a potential wild pig hunt in February or March, I decided to spend my week scouting for the elusive trophy buck.

I've managed to bag a few respectable bucks through the years. As I've become more experienced at this game, mainly in the past 4-5 years, decent bucks have been easier to come by. By decent, I'm talking about a 3-5 year buck, with a little experience under his belt, carrying more than a few points on his head. Nothing to brag about, but respectable none-the-less. Prior to that, just about all that presented themselves to me were does. (Does are legal game in Georgia, and provide better meat anyway).
But this year, I wanted to look for what is often the easiest, but usually the most difficult, animal to place a cross hair on: the 6-8 year old, fully mature, and wiley, buck. The king of his forest. I thought I came close last year, with a large bodied, thick antlered and battle scarred beast. His rack had a good outward spread and heavy beams, but sorrowfully lacking in points. Don't know what went wrong with this one, but you could see where about 3-4 tines failed to form in what should have been a magnificent rack (but he still makes a good stew).

These mature beasts are hard to find. Besides the rarity, they don't come out of hiding very often, preferring to stay in heavy cover. Also, they lack the need to get out and about looking for breeders since the does in heat will come to them more often. This makes finding them tricky. And after locating him, heavy cover will often prevent a clear shot.
I did say these are often the easiest, didn't I?
Well, they can be. For stupid beginners. A large proportion of those that are in the record books were dropped by stupid beginners who randomly stumbled over them. I was almost one of them, a long time ago. Twice. A hair raising, heart pounding, few moments that still live vividly in my memory as if it were this morning. On one occasion, I didn't have a round in the gun. The sound of my bolt sliding alerted him, and off he went. The second time, I passed on a decent shot, expecting him to continue through the trees to provide an excellent shot. I wasn't expecting him to change directions, but he did.
Live and learn, they say.
The bucks lived another season.
And I learned the hard way.

I didn't get him this year,either.
Hell, I didn't even manage to find where he's hanging out at.
But I did learn one thing:
When Georgia's Governor Sonny Perdue prays for rain, they get rain. Two days worth, further hampering my efforts to scout the woods and look for sign.

Maybe next year.
Right now, I got a pig hunt to plan.


*~*Cece*~* said...

Because I'm a city girl, I'm assuming you're talking about deer, right? *blushing* I've never tasted deer but last year we vacationed to NM to visit family & a friend sent us home with 100+ pounds of elk. We grilled and cooked it and I don't think I enjoyed it very much. My dad and husband digged it, but I think it was just a guy thing.

Gino said...

never been elk hunting. just been limited to deer.
a cooking tip: wild game is very low fat compared to the beef we are used to. grilling it is tricky because it dries out easily and gets tough and chewey. that, and most cuts are not grill worthy to begin with.
i usually make a pot roast or stew. try that, and you'd be suprised.
(i make a venison pot roast that nearly melts in your mouth)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a fine trip.
Might be a rainin in Georgia but its freezin here...
Down to -31c
and it haint even winter yet

Come hunting here and the weather will flash freeze your kill for you free.........:o)


Robi said...

It was a crappy season here in NH. The big problem is that I don`t scout as hard as I used to in the prior months.

Next year - starting early - I need to hit the woods like a Green Beret. My freezer`s awfully bare...

cesarekk said...

Glad you're back safe and sound. How did the gut hold out during your treks; any pains to speak of.

Now you can tell work that the doctor told you to take it easy for two weeks.

Gino said...

casarekk: lots of ibuprofin and a heating pad kept the gut in check. and the lack of carcass draggin didnt hurt,either.
right now: feeling pretty well.

chills: i guess with cold like that, i would need an ice pick instead of a field knife.

robi: no excuse! you must redeem yourself.

Jade said...

Our friend does a lot of hunting (elk, deer, turkey... etc...) they make a pretty good deer sausage.

Glad to see you made it back in one piece, sorry you didn't bag a Bambi :)

Guitarman said...

There's a reason those bucks ae 5+ years old. The only time they make mistakes is during the rut! I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere. Start dreaming about next year!