Usually toward the end of the second week of November is when the rut really gets cranked up across most of Kentucky and many other states. However, this year it appears that things are little ahead of schedule and the big boys are already fired-up and on the move. On my last hunt, I found a total of 11 hot scrapes and several fresh rubs leading down a hardwood ridge toward my stand. Acorns were falling out of the trees like raindrops and the cool evening air had made the woods come alive with activity. Squirrels were bouncing around in the dry leaves all around me and I knew it was going to be a perfect evening to be in the woods. The month of November is truly a magical time to climb in the stand for bowhunters.
After only a few minutes, a yearling buck walked out of an adjacent thicket and began eating the acorns all around my stand. At this point, I still didn’t have my face mask on yet and the deer were already on the move. With all of the fresh rutting sign around my stand, I decided to breakout my rack-blaster grunt call and make some noise. A series of three agitated grunts triggered an immediate response from the thicket to the left of my stand. Immediately, a stiff legged buck marched out of the cover with a swollen neck and a bad attitude. This rut-crazed bruiser had a huge chunk of fur knocked off of its back and it looked like Mike Tyson had been gnawing on his right ear. This heavy-racked buck was definitely not afraid of a fight and it looked like he was more than ready to cut loose on anything that got in his way.
Within seconds, he marched right beneath my stand looking for the intruder who was dumb enough to grunt in his territory. Unfortunately, I had no shot and was forced to wait for the buck to turn. However, the buck circled around the backside of the tree and it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to get a shot. After switching sides of the tree, I came back to full draw and hit the buck with a loud bleat to stop him just inside of my last cleared shooting lane. A loud smack broke the evening silence as the arrow collided just behind the buck’s shoulder. The buck only ran about 20 yards before piling up within sight of the stand.
This was without a doubt one of the meanest and toughest looking bucks I had ever shot. His tore up ears, scarred back and sides reminded me of the old Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue.” You could tell this old buck had been through several battles in his day and apparently he could hold his own. The massive chocolate colored rack of the buck I nicknamed “Sue” was in perfect shape with no breaks or busted points. However, his fighting days are over and I’ve got the perfect spot on my wall for this rut crazed bruiser. – Travis Faulkner