Hunting at the Nelson Creek Site – 2017
It was a great year for the two of us hunting the Nelson Creek site. Curt scored first, taking out a large-bodied spike buck with the crossbow. It was early in the rut, and the over achieving buck was chasing 4 does. I was in the island stand when one of the bigger does stopped by me at 15 yards. I drew the bow, but was worried about a small branch in the way. She stood there for several minutes. However, I was twisted up shooting to my bad side (I shoot left-handed with the compound). It became pretty hard to keep on aim and my side began to cramp. That’s when I got the bad idea that I could shoot despite that small branch. Needless to say, I was wrong. The arrow hit the deer in the rump sideways after flipping over that little branch. She jumped a couple feet, stood there a few seconds, then just walked off slowly. I was grateful I didn’t wound her.
The buck itself had stayed about 40 yards south, right by Curt’s stand. It stopped 15 yards from him, broadside. It had hit the Love Potion #7 Estrus Doe scent I had put out for Curt and came to a dead stop, smelling and licking at the branches. Curt let loose with the Ten Point Crossbow and 25 yards later, the buck piled up. Both lungs were perforated. The trail had blood 4 feet up the scrub branches.
Opening morning was my turn to strike. In the first 15 minutes, a nice eight point buck came underneath my stand. It was sniffing at my flashlight I left under the stand. Luckily it must have had some Lucky 7 – Synthescent Doe-In-Heat PLUS synthetic scent on it, my choice for the day. He was very interested in the flashlight for a bit, his tail flicking from side to side. He let out a small grunt before finally walking out from under me in that rutting buck stiff legged gait they have. He never busted me. My cover scent for the day was Lucky 7 Premium Cover Scent – Just Plain Dirt. He made it out to about 6 yards when Ole Bessy, my 60’s vintage Model 742 .30-06 barked out. He piled up in 15 yards.
I sat back to enjoy the morning. Another 15 minutes in, I saw a LARGE rack moving thru the wooded crossing in my marsh. I looked over at Curt, we can see each other from our stands quite easily as we are perhaps 30 yards apart (it is extremely thick below, mostly hazelnut bushes and tag alders). I gave him the “big buck” sign we use and Curt nodded his approval to take him (Wisconsin allows party hunting). I looked back at the buck and all I could see was his antlers, now in the brush at the edge of the creek at about 100 yards. I could not get a clean shot through the brush. I watched as he stood there, then I saw him load up to jump the creek. I prepared and shot him mid-leap. He crumpled and went down out of sight. I heard a splash. After about 2 more seconds, I heard the gurgle as the buck’s last breath was taken underwater.
We left our stands to find the bucks. The large one was a magnificent, wide, thick based 8 pointer, an exceptional deer for the area. I began to pull him from the creek and blood went downstream with some pieces of meat. About 10 feet downstream a good sized brook trout came out from the undercut bank and ate the meat flowing down. He actually starled us hitting the surface as hard as he did!
It was a great season. The small buck has his rack up in the garage. The larger one is a fine European Mount (done by Double D Skull Mount Plus in Fond du Lac, WI). The rest is in the freezer as nice fresh venison or as venison summer sausage. This was a great year, a fun year. I have made one decision though; due to age and injury, I am not as nimble as I used to be. My bow hunting career will no longer involve a compound bow. I have purchase a new Wicked Ridge Intruder G3 crossbow. A fine weapon, indeed. 2018 will begin my new role as a crossbow hunter.
After all that dragging, we decided to hunt the next morning and then go home. We only had doe tags and as luck would have it, we never got a shot at a doe. The bucks kept running us over (9 more after the first two), but with the rut in full swing, the does seemed to be in hiding.
We tried to go out for the short doe season in early December, but yours truly rolled his truck 4 times on the way up. I was unhurt, but that ended my deer hunting for the year.
I hope everyone else we know had a great year. If so, let us know on our Facebook Page. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!