First Monday of rifle season has traditionally been the day when we’ve killed more big bucks around dad’s house than any other single calendar date. 2012 didn’t disappoint.

I sat in a ladder stand bordering a stream in some wide open hardwoods between 3 different cutovers of various ages (1, 3, and 7 I think…). Not long after good shooting light, I had 3 does feed out into the nearest opening browsing on Japanese honeysuckle vines. Within 5 minutes of their passing, I heard another deer grunting and approaching from the same direction but it veered off just before it got into eyesight and worked a vein of planted pines north into the clearcut. No calls I threw in his direction seemed to have any effect.

At about 8:15, I just about fell out of the stand when one of the guys hunting with us and perched on the other side of one of the cutovers dropped a nice, wide 8 point. BOOM!!!!!!

After about an hour, the action seemed to die and I went over to help him drag the buck down to the cart path where we could more easily retrieve it. Great buck with a 17 1/2″ inside spread.

Unfortunately, it was my last hunt in NC before other obligations got in the way, but it was nice to drag out a couple of big bucks even if I wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger on them. The action should only get better there the next 10 days and hopefully dad can put down a buck or two of his own!