Posted on March 22, 2022 by BWB Team Member Lee Schanz, Jr.
I don't remember when we had a warmer second week for deer season. When I was guiding my client from Michigan last week, we had three days of snow, and this week we've had 2 or 3 days between 60*-75*! My client this week is an Adirondack deer hunter from New York. I guided him for half price this week so I could carry a gun and hunt as well.
On Tuesday morning, I made my way down to the spot Logan shot his big buck with me last year. I jumped a buck which ran up towards my client (Joe Berube). I grunted a few times then proceeded down to the hemlock signpost where Joe Kruse and I picked up a big buck track last year. There were ground scrapes everywhere so I thought I'd rattle horns for a change.
My "horns" are actually a "pack rack" that Hal gave me for Christmas years ago. I thought it was a gag gift at first because it looks like boobs on one side and a starfish on the other. It works! I rattled for 15 to 20 minutes and a different buck came in from the south. He was picking his way through the hemlocks and winter beech so I was only catching glimpses of him.
I have detachable Leupold mounts on my Savage 99, and I had just put the Leupold 1-4 power scope on before I started calling. The buck stopped behind a big hemlock, and I could see part of his rack and his hindquarters through the brush. There was a small opening ahead of him, and I decided to pull the trigger if he gave me a front shoulder to work with. The little 250-3000 barked, and a 120 grain Nosler Partition made quick work of him.
I have taken several nice bucks for clients or myself with a grunt tube, but this was my first "rattlin'" buck. That was fun! Dragging him to the road in 75* weather was not! I kept shedding clothes til I was down to my civvies, and the woods looked like a clothes line. He was a nine pointer but only weighed a buck fifty so he must be a young deer with good genes. My buddy Sam Dalti shot a heavier buck a few days before, and I'm sure Chris couldn't be prouder. Got clients to guide the rest of the season. Hope we get some snow. Good luck in the big woods.