Deer Season Highlights Week 1: Nice Bucks and Big Banter
Deer season highlights. We love and await them. And despite the never-ending stresses that come as an adult — whether it be professionally or personally — it all seems to wash away when we climb a tree. When life kicks my butt, I find solace and clarity in the delectable nimbus of the outdoors. Its ambience is nothing short of a Godsend. It’s safe to say, deer season saves those of us who rely on its fervor.
Rainbows and sappy feelings aside, deer season is here, dadgumit. The entire Midwest Whitetail team is stoked about it. And I made some pretty special memories on opening week.
Meet and Greet
I’m brand new to the Midwest Whitetail crew. If I were a cap, I’d still have that shiny holographic sticker on my bill. But everyone has been extremely hospitable and welcoming to my filming partner, John Kirby, and me. It’s been a very smooth process.
Part of being new is getting to know everyone. That’s why meeting longtime cast member Mike Reed was such a pleasure, as he too has been hunting the Kentucky opener. (And not far from where I call home.) Needless to say, he’s a hoot. And so are 41 North interns Grant, Max and Jake. It’s been fun getting to know them.
Whitetail Buck At 4 Feet
My original plan was to pursue Tanker the beginning of the season. But between his patterns changing at the last second, wind direction conflicts, and common hunting-by-permission challenges, I only hunted him opening afternoon. Other than getting to know a lively — and incredibly cool — Max Mongrello, it was a pretty uneventful sit.
The next day, I was on my own. Both my filming partner, John Kirby, and my personal intern were both out of commission. So, I self-filmed. And because I love self-torture, I decided to do it from the ground with three camera angles. I’ve done a lot of self-filming throughout the years, though, and even self-filmed a hunt last fall that ended up on Realtree’s Monster Bucks.
All said, the coolest thing ever happened, though. I got the closest to a wild whitetail that I’ve ever been: 4 feet. Had I not been trying to stay still and run a camera, I’d have reached out and touched the deer.
A couple hours later, the buck that ran with Toots all summer stepped into the open. I just knew Toots was behind him … but he never showed. It was still a cool encounter, nonetheless. I might try to slip back in there this weekend and hunt him again. We’ll have to wait and see.
A Cool Scene
I worked a full day on Monday. (Yes, we have real jobs.) But I did have time to slip out for an evening sit. It was a productive one. I watched this 2-year-old buck for half an hour as he messed around in the creek. It was very enjoyable just watching (and filming) him do his thing.
A Cool Scene, Continued
The deer just wouldn’t leave, though. He hung around for quite some time. Here, he’s watching intently as another buck walks out of the corn and into the creek bottom. At first, I thought one of our target bucks was working into view.
A Beautiful Up-and-Comer
That wasn’t the case, though. It was a nice 3-year-old buck that wasn’t quite what we’re looking for. It was an adrenaline-rich moment, though, as he stared a hole through the tree I sat in. He eventually worked away from me, drinking water and eating acorns to his content.
A Dandy Buck
Then, on Tuesday, things got real. My filming partner, John Kirby, killed a dandy velvet buck. And I believe you’ll be seeing it in an upcoming episode. It’s truly a great story of a buck Kirby called “Freeway.” You won’t want to miss the action.
But that’s it for now. I can’t wait for the deer season highlights in week two. Fall is almost here. And life is much better for it.
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