Sitka Mountain Gear
2020 for Ryan and Scoot
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
GhostBird 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
12yards 23-Nov-20
Supernaut 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
Supernaut 23-Nov-20
jmiller 23-Nov-20
Brotsky 23-Nov-20
kota-man 23-Nov-20
Nick Muche 23-Nov-20
buckfevered 23-Nov-20
GhostBird 23-Nov-20
12yards 23-Nov-20
Daydreamer 23-Nov-20
JB 23-Nov-20
BigOk 23-Nov-20
Scoot 23-Nov-20
paul@thefort 23-Nov-20
t-roy 23-Nov-20
APauls 23-Nov-20
Daydreamer 23-Nov-20
Z Barebow 23-Nov-20
tkjwonta 24-Nov-20
BULELK1 24-Nov-20
T Mac 24-Nov-20
Whocares 24-Nov-20
No Mercy 24-Nov-20
From: Scoot
23-Nov-20
2020 hasn't been a great year for just about anyone I know (except t-roy, who seemed to do OK in 2020!) As many on this forum know, we chose to skip our elk hunt and return our tags to MT so we could spend the time with my dad, who was in the hospital and in his final month of life. Dad passed on Oct. 10th. In addition to that being personally difficult for me, it also meant that I spent nearly all of the previous 2 1/2 month's available time in his hospital room. I was thankful to my wife, kids, and work for understanding and allowing that, but I also had been (understandably) negligent in getting Ryan out in the woods for the year. Normally by Oct. 10th Ryan had hunted a ton and either had an opportunity or come close to one. Not this year, so I had to do what I could to make up for lost time with him.

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The weekend after Dad's service, Ryan and I teamed up with our friends, Jake and Logan for a muley trip in Western ND. I had no real intentions of shooting anything on this trip- I wanted to "get outta Dodge" and I hoped Ryan or Jake could get a crack at a deer. Ryan got one good sneak in, but it turned out the buck he sneaked on was a little forkhorn buck and the one we thought was with it wasn't actually there. We did manage to help our buddy Jake shoot his first muley with a bow and his son was there to be part of the fun too. It was great!

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Not too long after that, I had this buck broadside at 18 yards. He had no clue and it was a gimme opportunity. He's not huge, but he's a nice buck. I decided to pass. He's probably the biggest buck I've ever passed on. I hope he's bigger next year!

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Ears pinned back, hair bristled up, and headed in to whoop the decoy!
Scoot's embedded Photo
Ears pinned back, hair bristled up, and headed in to whoop the decoy!
A week after I passed on that buck, we dug out the decoys. Ryan hunted over a decoy one morning and decoyed in three different bucks. He had a blast. Here's one of them that he choose not to shoot (at 15 I wouldn't have dreamed of passing on this buck!)

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
A few nights later I was a couple hundred yards away when my buddy, Steve, had quite a night. I talked him into bringing the decoy out and boy was he glad he did! About 45 minutes into the afternoon sit, a small 8 made its way over to his stand. It spotted the decoy and locked on it- ears pinned, hair bristled, and stiff-leg walking at the deek. When it got to five yards from the decoy it started pawing the ground, like a bull in a cartoon. Just then Steve caught movement off to his right. The buck pictured above was coming in, using the same posture and attitude the first buck had. He got in close by the deek and the buck and turned broadside. Steve drew and let go- his shot wasn't perfect, but it spined the deer and he dropped instantly. The small buck ran off.

Steve put a finishing shot on the buck at the first opportunity. Just after this shot, a 3rd buck came in to the decoy. He was a nice 8. As this buck got to the decoy he saw movement from the dying deer, just five yards away. He immediately charged it and hit him with all his might! He pushed the poor deer at least 25 yards! He then proceeded to gore and paw at it for over 10 minutes, until the buck expired and lay motionless. The buck then turned back towards Steve. That was when the buck remembered there was another buck in the area (the decoy) and he hit the decoy at full speed, blowing it up into several pieces and parts! He then strolled out into the field, and went on his merry way, probably looking for another deer to whoop!

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20
The following evening my brother called and asked if it worked for him to come up to my place to hunt. I said, "Sure, but Ryan and I are playing hooky and hunting in ND today." Rod figured maybe he'd give ND a shot too and headed for one of my old stands. Rod found the stand, climbed up, hung his bow on the bowhook and turned around in the stand. He immediately spotted a doe heading is way- she was 80 yards and closing. He knocked an arrow as soon as she went behind the first tree. Seconds later he saw a buck following her- he was nice. The doe came in right where she was supposed to, the buck followed, and Rod made a perfect shot. The whole thing took less than five minutes. That was his entire ND season- about 4 minutes of hunting!

I tried to swap out the pic of Rod's buck for a better one, but now the site won't let me include the new pic. I'll add it at the end, but it should go here...

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20
For those who are keeping track, we started with five tags and at this point in the game only two people had not punched them- Ryan and me. We had both come close to getting an opportunity, but hadn't managed to get a shot at anything. But that was about to change. Ryan had his good luck charm coming with him the following weekend- Uncle Rod was going to sit in the stand with him and that virtually always seems to create some good mojo for Ryan. When those two team up, it seems something is likely to get shot!

From: GhostBird
23-Nov-20
Good stuff... keep it coming.

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Had some meetings... here ya go, Andy!

Rod joined Ryan for the afternoon sit on Sunday, Nov. 15th. Steve and I were sitting in the same general area- Steve was about 300 yards away and I was 1/2 mile away. My night was quiet, as was Steve's. Steve saw some deer headed Ryan's way after they heard some rifle shots from across the river. Minutes later, we received this text.

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20
Ryan felt good about the shot. However, the blood trail told a different story. We found no blood for the first 50 yards. They had seen the deer hop over a large log and we went there and found blood. Soon we were tracking along at a good clip, but then it simply quit. After looking for 15 minutes we got back on blood. The blood got better, then completely quit again. This happened multiple times. Steve would say, "Oh, this looks better" and that was the kiss of death- twice him saying that CAUSED the blood trail to instantly dry up. :)

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
After about 200 yards the blood trail go so good that even this colorblind guy could see it! I shined the light ahead and saw a glowing eyeball. We found the buck piled up and Ryan had made a nearly perfect shot- double lung for sure. Not sure how that buck went 200 yards, but he did.

The buck was unique- double brows on one side and a weird kink in his rack on the other. Ryan was thrilled and so were we.

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
We didn't find Ryan's arrow, so I went back to look for it a couple days later. It was an important arrow to find and I really had to work to find it! I looked for over an hour and finally found it- it had blown through the deer and was laying in the leaves 25 yards past the point of impact. As you can see, it was a special arrow to Ryan.

From: 12yards
23-Nov-20
Awesome kills! Congrats to you guys making some great memories during a tough year.

From: Supernaut
23-Nov-20
Great hunts, recaps and pics. Thanks for sharing and congrats on a great season! Glad you were able to recover that special arrow!

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20
...and then there was one. I still had my tag in ND. Since we weren't seeing anything to get excited about at home, I kept on hunting in ND. I went yesterday morning with the plan to hunt the whole day. The morning was good- I saw 14 deer and one very big buck. However, nothing was interested in my decoy and everything ran or walked away from it.

The afternoon was very slow. For some reason, even though I was very short on sleep, I was really locked in yesterday. My attention was really sharp and I didn't have much for mental distractions. I've spent a lot of time thinking and crying in a treestand, since Oct. 10th came and went. For reasons I don't really understand, yesterday was different.

Around 4:00 I saw my first deer of the afternoon. It was a buck- a nice buck. He came to the north of me and was going to pass just out of range. When he stopped I gave him a couple soft bleats with my mouth. He stood still for 10 straight minutes and literally never took a step. Eventually he wandered towards my stand and I got a better look at him. I decided if I got a "can't miss opportunity" at him, I'd take it. He passed by at 25 yards, never really offering a good shot. Then he went into the thick trees to my right. "Oh well, no good shot and no point in forcing anything."

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
I gave him two more mouth bleats and he ran to the edge of the thick stuff, looking for the doe. Again, I thought "If I get a chip shot, I'll take it." He zig zagged my way and at 10 yards went behind a tree as he moved from right to left. I got to full draw and stopped him with another, louder bleat. He was at 8 yards, slightly quartering away. I guess this was the chip shot I was thinking about! I dropped the string and watched the arrow zip through him. He ran north, but I heard him crash about 100 yards away.

Little side note and a lesson learned-- never believe your buddy the "picture looks good" without checking it yourself!

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Final post- I also recovered my arrow. It was stuck in the ground, right behind the where the deer stood when I shot. I cried a little when I put that bloody arrow back in my quiver.

On the drive home I thought a lot about my dad. It's tough not to have him to call with a hunting report. Especially so when it's a good report. But, that's the way life works. Tons of things to be thankful for, and he's a huge one. I hope he likes the buck I shot with an arrow that adorned his name-- I'm confident he would.

Thanks all! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Tell your family and friends you love 'em and make the best of this Thanksgiving that you can.

From: Supernaut
23-Nov-20
Outstanding all the way around Scott. I'm sure your dad was and is smiling down on you.

From: jmiller
23-Nov-20
Excellent work guys!

From: Brotsky
23-Nov-20
Way to go my friend! A great season for you guys! You definitely deserved it after earlier this fall. Congratulations!

From: kota-man
23-Nov-20
Great year guys! Congrats...

From: Nick Muche
23-Nov-20
Very nice you guys! I love the tributes on your fletchings. Congrats to all on making some more memories!

From: buckfevered
23-Nov-20
Nice!

From: GhostBird
23-Nov-20
Man... you guys really stacked 'em up. Congratulations to you all. Give Ryan a big congrats from me for that cool looking buck.

From: 12yards
23-Nov-20
Why did I just know that this would end with my eyes watering up? Congrats Scoot on a great buck and an awesome story.

From: Daydreamer
23-Nov-20
Congrats Scoot and Ryan on an amazing finish to a tough year.

From: JB
23-Nov-20
Way to go everyone and thank you for the recap! I feel for you on the loss of your dad. That has to be really tough to go through. You have my sympathies!

From: BigOk
23-Nov-20
Congrats

From: Scoot
23-Nov-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Thanks guys!

Here's Rod's buck- won't let me add it back in above.

From: paul@thefort
23-Nov-20
Your dad is smiling from above, and giving 4 thumbs up. Nicely done. my best paul

From: t-roy
23-Nov-20
Bittersweet season for you guys, I’m sure. Lots of time in your stands with a few tears in your eyes, with some smiles mixed in as well, as you all probably recalled some great memories that you had with your dad. I’m sure he was looking down on you guys and smiling.

From: APauls
23-Nov-20
Good job Scoot. All around. Family first. And congrats on the success

From: Daydreamer
23-Nov-20
Congrats Scoot and Ryan on an amazing finish to a tough year.

From: Z Barebow
23-Nov-20
Excellent recap Scoot! Thanks for sharing.

From: tkjwonta
24-Nov-20
Well done Scoot, your dad would certainly be proud of your efforts this fall and even more so of you raising a great young man. Here's to many more great seasons to come!

From: BULELK1
24-Nov-20
Well done Scott!

Thanks for sharing,

Robb

From: T Mac
24-Nov-20
Nice work guys congrats!

From: Whocares
24-Nov-20
Very special season for you guys! Sitting on a stand sure gives a person a lot of time to think about the important stuff.

From: No Mercy
24-Nov-20
congrats guys! Well done!

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