The chasing phase of the rut can make bucks do odd things. This one hit a fence post.
The ground-level box blind was warm and comfortable, and the predicted snow that was supposed to fall, had not materialized. However, a deer did an odd thing and that provides the basis for tonight’s story.
A spindly 8-point buck had just moved down the trail, traveling upwind of my stand, and 100 yards behind him was a button-buck fawn. The young buck ambled along but knew his place in the pecking order of his life, and he was on the bottom rung. Little bucks don’t tick off big bucks, and fare well in the outcome.
The little guy, like small children or small deer, are curious. Who knows why or when something will capture their interest, and hasten their need to investigate. I was 18 yards off a heavily used trail that meandered through the browned bracken ferns of early November.
Watching some of the antics of small deer is more fun for me than shooting.
The wee buck fawn stopped as he came even with my blind, and turn to look at me. The inside of the coop had been painted black, and I was dressed in camo clothing with brown gloves on my hands and a camo face mask. He couldn’t see or smell me.
He looked, bobbed his head up and down in the head fake that fawns soon learn from their mother, and tried to get the box blind to move. It was anchored securely to the ground and wouldn’t budge, but the little buck tried it two or three times without success.
Finally, tiring of the head fake, the button buck started my way. Slowly, mind you, with frequent pauses to check out this odd structure that he hadn’t seen before. Closer he came, inching in the last few feet, and stuck his head in the shooting window.
His nose was three feet from my knee, and he took a deep whiff, found nothing that appeared to be objectionable. I sat still, wondering what he would do next, and he stood still for about 15 seconds, walked back to the trail and followed the buck out of sight. The Scent-Lok suit worked,
Eye-to-eye with a wild deer at three feet is a really neat experience.
I’ve had curious does and fawns walk close but have never had one stick his head in the shooting window of my hunting coop. This was a first for me, and a real treat for someone who loves seeing deer do weird things.
One time, while sitting on a stump just the perfect height off the ground and with my feet stretched out in front of me, a doe fawn and her mother came walking by. The doe stopped to eyeball me, and that didn’t satisfy the curious fawn.
She came walking right up to me, stepped over my legs, and began sniffing my rubber boots. There must have been something there that she liked, and she licked my boots for nearly a minute before tiring of that activity. She walked off down the trail with her month, and I found that if you don’t move, odd things can happen.
Great tasting rubber hunting books after being sprayed to remove odor.
Several years ago while bow hunting the rut just before the firearm season opener, I watched a love-crazed buck do a really stupid thing. He had been chasing a doe all over a green field, back into the swamp, around my tree stand, and the mature doe was just barely keeping ahead of the amorous buck.
He was grunting every step of the way, and sounded much like a barnyard oinker, and occasionally he would let her get farther away and then put on a burst of speed. She was about three steps ahead of the randy buck, and had his nose to the ground like a bird dog on a hot pheasant track.
She was going full out, throwing a few zigs and zags into her run, and the buck never lifted his head to see where he was going. She kicked it into another gear, came to a fence, and cleared it with a fine jump that was a thing of beauty. The clueless buck wasn’t quite as graceful and pretty.
He was so intent on staying with the soon-to-be-bred doe that he never looked up. He ran slam into a wood fence post with his head, and fell backwards on his rump. He staggered to his feet, wobbled around for a minute, visibly trying to figure out what happened, and once the cobwebs cleared away from what had to be an aching head, off he went at a high lope after the doe.
I’ve studied deer for more than a half-century, and have seen them do some pretty strange things. Some of what they do may stagger your imagination, but for me, nothing a whitetail does surprises me anymore.
Even when they stick their head in my shooting window. How cool is that?