By Tim Worel
I started out at about 3 p.m. and it had just rained. A cold front came in and it froze the water on the leaves and branches on the trees. The sun came out between some clouds and everything shined from the ice on the small island in the swamp where my tree stand was located.
As I walked to the swamp I said to myself, "it doesn't get any better than this". The swamp was a little noisy but I slowly crept toward my tree stand. It was starting to get a little windy and the more I walked, the more I thought about the way the wind was blowing. Because of the wind, I concluded I couldn't go to my tree stand. I knew that I could get on the same trail in my ground blind, where I have stood in the past. I worked my way to the spot, on the far side of the island. The wind was just right. It was a real thick spot next to the swamp, with an old fence going through it. As I walked up to it, a doe and what looked like a button-buck got up right next to me and I nearly fell to the ground. I hung my bow up on the tree where I was standing. I stood there knowing that I had about an hour of light left. I hoped that the deer I had chased up wouldn't warn the other deer. I waited about 15 minutes and then pulled out my grunt call and gave two soft doe bleats. Nothing happened. I waited a little bit and tried it again. This time I got results. From the thick red willowsticks there came a couple of grunts.
I waited and then I gave another doe bleat. All of a sudden the tree started shaking in the thick brush, and then the king of Bucks came stomping out! The buck was coming straight toward me! He stopped and turned broadside at about 60 yards. He was scouring the woods, looking for the doe that was making all the racket. I nearly fell to my knees because this was the biggest buck that I had ever seen! The buck started heading toward the main trail and I was hoping that he would turn and come by me at about 15 yards, but he didn't. He went straight through and started circling around me. He approached the old fence and jumped over it. I just needed five more steps and he would be mine. As I started to pull my bow back the "King of Bucks" saw me. He stood there looking at me at about 20 yards. After about 5 seconds, the big buck turned and ran. As I stood there with the ice on the trees glistering in the sunset, I thought again, this is what bow-hunting is all about.