Yesterday was the opening of the 2-day early muzzle-loader season in Kentucky, so I got up when my alarm went off at 04:45, and (equipped with my gear and a cup of coffee), I headed out to my truck. I was surprised to find frost on my windshield, so after I dealt with that, I started the 40-minute drive to my lease farm in McCracken County. After stopping at the southside McDonalds for a sausage biscuit and a hash brown, I got to the farm with plenty of time to set up before daylight.
I unloaded my 4-wheeler and set off for my deer stand; I drove across the cut cornfield, made my way up the ridge, and parked. As I set off on foot in the dark, I worked my way quietly down the backside of the ridge along the back cornfield. It started to break day when I finally got up in my stand and ready to hunt at 06:30.
Even though it’s still a little too early for the rut this year, I have killed a couple of bucks in the early muzzle-loader season. You can imagine my excitement when about 15 minutes after I got in my stand, I saw movement across the field. I grabbed my binoculars and saw a large-bodied deer with visible antlers walking. It was still too dark and too far (about 175 yards) to know for sure if it was a shooter or not, so I picked up my grunt call and grunted at him twice, hoping he would come to investigate the buck grunts – but he didn’t. Instead, he slowly walked out of the field and into the woods.
It’s hard to size up a deer at 175 yards in low light, so the best thing to do was pass on this deer and be ready for the next opportunity. After a while, only seeing four does since the buck, I decided to climb down from my stand around 09:15. Timing is the key for many things in life, and today the buck’s timing was in his favor! Perhaps next time it will be in my favor, and Mr. Buck won’t be so lucky.
It was a great morning to be out enjoying God’s creation with such a beautiful sunrise, cool temps, and (of course) the wildlife.