By Luke Shattuck
Two weeks prior to the day I shot this beautiful buck, on November 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm in Saratoga County, I sat in four different spots on the mountain I was hunting. All within about 50 yards of each other and knowing that the wind blows in different directions at each one. On this day I decided to try something new. The fifth spot that day, little did I know, was the right place to be.
I got a late start that morning. It takes me about 45 minutes to drive up north to where I hunt. I left my house at about 8:30 am and was on my way. I parked my truck, got all my gear on, sprayed down my cover scents, put my back pack on and headed up the mountain for my 45 minute hike. I got to my hunting area and there had been a dusting of snow that morning.
I started out walking about a 150 yard half moon walk to a spot where I had seen some hookings on trees. I put a few scent bombs of "Doe in Estrus" in different places throughout the area, working my way back to an area where I had sat two weeks prior. I told myself that today I was going to sit under a big hemlock out in the wide open with only the tree to break up my pattern. It was a windy, cold day and I thought I had nothing to lose.
I cleaned all the leaves back to bare ground and got set up by putting a "Scent Mister" in the hemlock above me, that misted buck urine in the air every 90 seconds, and sat down on my hot seat. I put my .270 on my back pack which was on the ground to the right of me and the wait began.
Two nice size doe came out and filtered down through the ledges from the funnel all within about 50 yards. Without a care if the world they walked through and that was about 2:50 pm. At this point I was definitely feeling the cold after sitting for a couple hours. I made a slight adjustment and got out the "hot hands" and continued to sit still without moving a muscle. As time went on, I was getting colder and colder, body shaking, and chills starting to set in, thinking to myself, "I am going to get up in about ten more minutes."
Then, I saw deer legs walking down the ledges of the Hill just about 100 yards away, going towards the funnel on the runway where I had just saw the does walking through an hour or so earlier. For about three minutes I didn't see anything and then just as I was going to call it quits a deer came out 50 yards from the hemlocks and was milling around. I slowly reached for my .270 and turned the scope up to about 5 power. I really started looking hard, looking through the briar bushes when finally I see him and new he was a shooter. I was looking for a clear shot as I saw him quartering up the hill towards me. I had about a four inch hole to shoot through with the trees and briar bushes in the way. I laid the crosshairs on the front shoulder thinking, "Now or never." and squeeze the trigger.
The buck ran straight up the hill at me and got within 5 yards of me and turned Left, running away, then turned right and I shot again. He fell down, got back up, then ran into a tree and knew he was down. I knew I had hit him both times, but didn't realize I'd hit him good with the first shot, almost all the way up the hill to me he didn't bleed and didn't act like he was hit, so I gave him another as he turned to the right. Both bullet holes were within an inch of each other and had wrecked the front shoulder.
I sent my son and my fiance a picture and then the work began of trying to get the tag filled out, get my knife out to field dress him. My hands were so cold I had all I could do to gut the deer. About an hour later I got a text from my son who had come to help me drag the buck out. He had my grandson with him and we all headed back down the mountain making it to the truck just before dark. The whole time I was telling my son the story and reminding him that you have to put the time in to get the big ones!
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