By Brandon Brunell
Quite the time was had calling this buck in on the morning of December 9, 2021. It was a nice and cold morning with the wind blowing at my face, ideal conditions to hunt so I decided to hunt a small piece of private land in Malta. I had been to this property only three times prior this season. Each time I saw fresh rubs and scrapes, confirming that there was indeed multiple bucks on this piece of land.
The day prior I sat in the morning on a steep ridge line running through the center of the property and heard deer moving around me. When I finished up my hunt that day I decided to walk that ridge line and see if I could find any tracks from the deer I heard moving behind me. Well I most certainly found tracks and a fresh rub on a 1 1/2 to 2 inch around tree. So fresh that the little wood and bark shavings from the tree were right on top of the freshly fallen snow. After finding what I was looking for I decided I would call it a day and come back the next morning to sit on the opposite side of the ridge where the deer had went around me.
The next morning came quickly like any other day, but something was special that morning, I did not feel tired and was more than eager to get back in the woods, so much so that I decided I would sneak in the woods super early and sit it out until sunrise. I gathered my gear, kissed my girlfriend, and was out the door. The spot I was hunting was a literal two minute drive from my girlfriends house so I arrived quickly with plenty of time. Once at my spot I grabbed my camo from my no scent bag, threw it on and started walking.
It was a cold morning with not much wind at all so I knew I had to be extra quiet while coming in. The fresh snow from the day before was luckily still soft and not crunchy or loud which made walking surprisingly quiet. After walking for about 15 minutes I had arrived at the ridge where I was going to sit, next to the fresh rub I found the day prior. I found a large oak tree, cleared any sticks out from the bottom then sat with my back facing it. The time was 5 a.m. on the dot so I knew I had a long, cold sit until sunrise.
I got comfortable with my rifle on my lap and started going to work with my bleat can and grunt call. Every 30 minutes or so I would bleat and grunt, yet heard nothing. As the cold was setting in and really testing my will I knew the sun coming up would warm me up to a hopefully bearable degree. I looked down at my watch to check the time and it was 6:50 a.m. I knew if anything was going to happen it would be soon. Not more than five minutes went by when I saw the unmistakable white out of the corner of my eye. It was a nice sized animal from what I could tell, but I could not identify what gender. I propped my rifle up to look through my optic and to my disbelief I was looking at a nice ten point buck, walking my way. I kept my Rifle on him trying to slow my breathing and stop the shaking from the big adrenaline dump I had just received seeing my buck. He came in to about 30 feet when I finally took the shot.
A perfect broadside shot through both lungs and heart and he did not walk more that ten yards. The 188 grain .308 did the job with ease and made tracking not an issue what so ever. I am beyond happy with this deer and will not harvest anything smaller in the coming seasons, only larger.
Brandon's 10-point was shot in Saratoga County on 12/10/21 and dressed at 150 lbs.
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