Cursing to myself, I made a mile-long hike through steep, wet, slippery country to get another look at the buck. I made like Michael Douglas down the first slope and, not surprisingly, the ascent up the next hill was excruciatingly long. I picked my footholds carefully to avoid constantly backsliding down the hill. One hour and 200 pounds of chucked gumbo later, I reached the knob from where the two deer disappeared. I doubted the pair would be home, considering the rut was in hyperdrive, but I slipped off my pack and eased over the lip to appease my mud-tainted curiosity.