Day 4 turned out to be a bust for me, because I left early on Day 3 to avoid shooting the buck in the rain, and having a chance of losing his blood trail. I do not like taking chances and shooting a buck on a foggy and rainy afternoon is pretty chancy if you are alone, like I was.
When I walked out on Day 3 the king was there and I disrupted his normal behavior by advancing too far downwind of my D.I.E. Scrape. I did not intend to boost the buck from his sanctuary as I actually did by accident that day.
In hindsight I know now that the king knew I was not a deer, because no deer would have pushed through brush from upwind of his position and head straight towards his body as he staged downwind of his primary breeding scrape. My D.I.E. Scrape had become his core breeding scrape. He placed his front hoof print in each of the 3 scrapes that existed there (by the end of my D.I.E. Hunt) and he did so on a daily basis. All the bucks in the area, and does stayed away from the D.I.E. Scrape except a yearling buck that is young and dumb.
I hunted on Day 4 for 7 hours, and I had a conversation with three bucks that surrounded my scrape, before I realized I had been busted and at least the king was aware that there was a threat in his midst. He circled the Set-Up at a distance of 70-100 yards and when he came upon my drag-line scent, he locked up on it, and made his presence known to every deer in the area by raking his antlers on brush that was chest high on the buck. He wanted to call attention to himself, and to tell his herd that he is their commander, that he was downwind of the scrapes and that no deer can get to the scrapes without first encountering him and earning the right to breed there, by beating him in a fight.
I know now that quitting early on Day 3 cost me a successful kill. I can live with that. I will hunt the buck again in a week or two and I will improve my location and not call to him at all. That will force him to look for me in the new area, rather than telling him I am there, and allowing him to circle me to keep me inside the 35 yard bubble that exists around every D.I.E. Hunter's tree stand when we are in it.
Thanks for following my first hunt this year. The next one will turn out to be another learning experience, but as I have become accustomed to know, the king will be convinced that a doe is there to breed, and if I do not make any mistakes, then he will never feel threatened, and he will advance to find his next mate, the way he does in the wild when a doe in heat goes into estrus and visits one of his scrapes.
The D.I.E. System kept the king bedded within 35 yards of me for 3 days, and the buck actually approached my stand and urinated within 22 yards of the D.I.E. Scrape, that being 6 yards behind my right shoulder. If you have read my book, you well know I build the cover up behind my right shoulder so no deer can see me or catch a glimpse of my shadow in the morning. I do not care if some readers do not believe in what I write. I only speak the truth, through my spoken words and the ones I write whether they are in print or on a computer screen. The truth is all I know.
God Bless You,
Bob J. Mercier