The Backyard Buck by Jon Bryan
With the season over a month old, on December 7, at 7:00 AM, I was sitting in a tree stand and thinking, will I ever get a good buck this season? My best chance had been last week when, coming out of our old ranch house, I had spooked a nice eight or ten pointer out of my freshly, plowed garden and I quickly named him my “Backyard Buck”. Rushing inside for a rifle, I peeped around the corner and saw him disappear into the woods and he was long gone before I could get a bead on him.
Checking my watch again, it was 7:45 AM, and in some thick brush to the right of the feeder, I heard a soft, “Grunt”. Wow, my game ears worked and that sound was a buck announcing his presence in the area!
Within twenty minutes, a doe began sniffing the fence around the feeder, slowly circled it, acted real nervous, jumped over the fence and started nibbling at the corn. She looked up, stared intently into the thick cover, and then nibbled some more, stared some more and I tensed up anticipating that a buck would show.
Sure enough, out walked a nice one, either an eight or ten, horns well outside its ears, definitely a shooter! For several seconds, more like minutes, he was masked by a cedar tree, to the right of the feeder, so I laid my scope on the opening where he should cross, out he walked and bam! As the doe jumped out of the feeder pen, he hopped, but didn’t fall, staggered off, dropped to the ground and laid still.
The buck was done for, so I unloaded the rifle, climbed out of the stand, looked up and here came the doe. She stood fifty feet away, looked at me as if to say, “Where’d the buck go?” She circled the area once more then walked off, tail down, in “frustration”, to begin her search for a new buck.
Walking over to the buck, a ten pointer, I nudged him with no response and left him on the ground to go get Spike, our wonder dog, for some tracking practice. Layla and I loaded up Spike, drove to the feeder, put Spike out and he made one cross wind swing, smelled the deer and headed straight toward it.
He now “took over” the deer, guarded it, nuzzled it and I had to put on gloves to pick him up so we could load the buck into the Jeep.
Looking more closely at the fine buck, it struck me that this was probably the “Backyard Buck” from last week, or else, his twin. The stand is about six hundred yards from my garden and bucks range for miles, but this one may have stayed too close to home.
Anyway, finding a hot doe was his downfall!