Washington State Land Whitetail
By Kyle Wolf
More and more of the private land I have been hunting over the years has been getting smaller and smaller due to farmers and landowners saying no more hunting. I’m sure most of you can relate, and perhaps have experienced this in some form. So, I decided to look elsewhere for new hunting grounds.
My search led me to a piece of State land that is surrounded by super-private dwellings. I scouted the area and hung a camera at the NE corner of the property. A couple of days after I hung the camera, the deer activity started to pick up. When I first checked the camera, I had pictures of a couple of smaller bucks and a nice buck; I was getting excited for the hunt to begin. I hung my stand literally a couple days before Thanksgiving and opening day, but I figured, “better late than never.”
I got in there on opening day hoping to see the big boy, but only noticed does coming in. So, I went back home. The next day I decided to use a dragline, while walking in, and then climbed in my stand and waited. Now, thinking like a non-professional, I grabbed my phone and started Facebooking…well with my head stuffed into my phone I heard a snap! I looked up and there he was staring at ME—at 22 yards. I ended up spooking him while trying to make the complex transition between my phone and my bow. Well, he was gone, outta there. I was so sick; I wanted to throw my phone. DAMN YOU FACEBOOK!
I ended up backing out for a few days to let things quiet down. I went back in on December 5 with high hopes–my phone shoved way into my pocket. I noticed some action on the neighboring bluff; a couple of land buyers were walking around talking loud and spooking the deer (in my mind anyway). Eventually, they left and things quieted down, at least for the moment. Shortly thereafter, and to my surprise, a bowhunter–staring at his feet–was walking up on my stand. He got about 10 yards from my tree, looked up, about faced, and silently walked out, thinking I didn’t see or hear him.
Now, it was three in the afternoon, I had an hour left and I thought to myself, “there’s no way I’m going to see anything after all of this commotion.” I told myself the deer might notice “Mr. Fud” walking out is I and think the coast is clear, so I sat back and waited. Well, right at dark, the big boy I had seen earlier came right in, and this time I was ready. With a WHACK, the 23-yard shot, passed through both lungs!
This deer season was a learning experience; I gained a ton of knowledge.
Thank you Washington State Land!