Mature whitetail bucks are smart, but they are not Houdini. And they can be fooled!
My final evening’s chosen stand the first year I hunted whitetails in America’s heartland was a natural ground blind of head-high scrub oak saplings, still clutching to their brittle brown leaves at the edge of a CRP field of waist-high grass. A dilapidated barbed-wire fence marked the northern property boundary to my left bordering a small 5-acre field of cut corn whose far edge fell away into a low depression where it met a timbered draw. Honestly, I didn’t expect much to happen. I’d pulled my treestands to get an early start home to Pennsylvania that evening, and was just passing the waning hours of my hunt dreaming of next season. BIG mistake!
The sight of bone-white tines moving in sync with a purposeful stride as he exited the depression and entered the field triggered that familiar stutter step as my ticker jumped to its next gear. He was an absolute brute! A massive tall-tined rack, thick as your wrist at the bases and throughout most of his beam length, sat atop a thick-necked, barrel-chested 300-pound body.
His body language left no doubt he was on the prowl, and as I regained my senses, I reached for my favorite call: two soft doe bleats, pause, then one more. Before that third bleat died away he was already headed for the fence crossing I had identified and ranged earlier at exactly 31 yards. As he cleared the fence, my kisser settled at the corner of my mouth, and I remember thinking, “This is just too easy.”