Crazy Old Man Calling

Tim Worel

Hasty, Minnesota

I sat in my tree stand all morning and did not see anything. It was one week after gun season and I knew that there had been two small bucks taken in the area. It was an area that was hunted hard. I thought that I had heard something about 100 yards away, over by the cow pasture. There was a big oak grove over there. I decided to check it out since I was half frozen anyway, and could not sit any longer. So, I got down and sneaked over there.

I was surprised that the area had more cover than I had thought. It also had some huge cow trails running through it. It looked pretty good and then I spotted some rubs and it started looking real good. I started to look for a good tree to hang my stand in when suddenly I spotted a doe running toward me. I got down on one knee and knocked an arrow. The doe ran right by me, obviously running from something. I was hoping that she was running from a buck and not another hunter. Her tail wasn't in the air so I waited about two minutes, then grunted a couple soft grunts. I waited another five minutes and decided that nothing was coming.

I remember this old man had told me (while we were having a few beers) to take a good sized stick and brush it around in the leaves and smack it against some trees and at the same time grunt 7-10 times about two seconds apart. I thought that the old man was crazy, but decided to try anything once. I started grunting and making all kinds of racket with the stick. I remember thinking I could call this ritual "Crazy Old Man Calling". I waited a few more minutes and nothing happened, so I decided to try it again. It kind of sounds like a buck chasing a doe.

I had gotten about three more grunts in when I spotted a big bodied deer running right toward me. The deer stopped about 70 yards away. My heart was pounding. I kept telling myself, "Don't move!" Then I noticed it was a buck and he started walking right down the cow path toward me. It looked like a big brown cow with at least 12 big points. I kept reminding myself to calm down and breathe. I decided that as soon as he got to the big tree I would pull back and aim. The tree was about 25 yards from me and the buck was in no hurry. He kept looking for the deer that was making all the racket. Finally, he got to the tree. I pulled my bow back and he spotted me. He was looking right at me. All that I could see was his head and neck and his flickering tail and the tree. I put my sight on his neck and let it fly!

The buck ducked and the arrow hit his antlers and ricocheted off (just like hitting a branch). I couldn't believe that I had taken that shot. Especially when he was looking at me! After finding my arrow and saying a few choice words to myself, I headed back to the truck. On the way back I ran into another bow hunter. He asked, "Did you see that big buck?" I replied, "Yes, I did!" He said that he almost got a shot at him and then heard all that racket. He asked me, "What were you doing?" I explained that it was "Crazy Old Man Calling" and asked him, "How did it sound?" He responded, "Pretty crazy."

Crazy Old Man Calling

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