Adjusting on the Fly to Tag a Buck
Michael Wallace capitalized on some midday movement on some public land in Georgia to put down his best buck to date.
Using tips he learned from a few classic episodes of The Southern Outdoorsmen Podcast, Michael was able to make a solid plan and stick to his guns until he had success. This story really highlights the importance of coming up with a solid game plan and sticking to it, even if something discouraging happens.
To hear the tips Michael used to find success on this hunt, listen to episodes 116 and 136 of The Southern Outdoorsmen Podcast. Here is Michael's story:
This was a hunt like no other! With two young children at home it can be a struggle at times to get to the woods.
Well, this season that has been the case for me. I missed a good part of the rut in Florida where I primarily hunt due to children being sick and other things out of my control. I was able to harvest a few deer at home even with very limited time, yet I had a disappointed outlook on my season going into November.
Although knowing I needed to spend time with my family before the most awaited hunt in Georgia would come. Well eventually it came the time to load the truck and head north. Arriving a day early giving myself plenty of time to get some scouting in. I found a few good spots I had confidence in and was ready to hunt the next day. I go to the place I felt was my best opportunity to get away from pressure and funnel deer to a small bedding area near a body of water.
I did an all day sit seeing only a couple of spikes and a hog at last light which I took knowing I would be moving the next day. After listening to Glen Solomon I know I needed to give that spot a full day to work but also keeping in mind that the first time in is the best time.
The following day I moved to my back up plan, a briar thicket near a funnel on the downwind side of a field where deer would visit in the night. I climbed up near 35 ft in a tree early on a chilly morning. Seeing a few deer right at daylight I was able to harvest a doe which fell near a log with in 30 yards from me. 9 am comes around and I see a doe being chased by a nice 7 point and another large buck just moments behind.
They run down through a thicket without me being able to get a clear shot. Moments later I hear a two shots and my heart sunk. Feeling devastated that I had a opportunity at two nice bucks and wasn’t able to capitalize on either was killing me. I texted a buddy that helped me get my mind straight and told me I was in the right place just get my head back in to the game and keep hunting. So that’s what I did and again Glen Solomon talked about midday hunting and bucks moving well, which was the original reason I choose this spot anyways.
Getting aggressive I got down and moved to a tree not 50 yards from where I previously sat but couldn’t shoot to where the doe ran. Hoping another buck would come investigate the earlier commotion I sat doing some light rattling as learned from Adrian Farley. Around 11 am I hit the horns again realizing I’d need to get down so to take care of the doe taken earlier.
I gave it several minutes but saw nothing but an armadillo which was making all kinds of noise in the leaves. Ready to call it and grab my things to pack up. I reached out and hear a sound over my right shoulder not where the armadillo was. I turned only to see a large main framed 6 point walking only 15 yards from me. I quickly and quietly grabbed my rifle and tuned on my platform to make the shot on what is my personal best buck to date.
He ran a few yards and I shot again hitting him in the neck and he fell over right on top of the doe I had taken early that morning. Although this is the largest buck I’ve harvested it is the most meaningful not because of the antler size but because my father passed away in August to cancer and he was born only minutes from where I had taken this buck. We had many front porch conversations about the place I’d take the 129 inch 10 point. Only wish I could have called him to tell him about the rollercoaster of a hunt I’d had. Want to thank the Georgia DNR for a great public land hunt and hope to be back again for many more.
- Michael Wallace
Big congrats to Michael and our deepest condolences for the loss of your father. I know the feeling of wishing you could call someone who has passed on to share the excitement of a hunt with them one last time. I do believe that we will have the opportunity to share hunts with them once again.
We live in an ever changing world that moves at a pace we often struggle to keep up with. With time marching on all around us, there is a deep satisfaction in the traditions we partake in year to year that stay the same. No matter what is going on in my life I know when I am in the woods opening day of deer season I have that same excitement I had when I was a kid. My mind alternates from a deep nostalgia of hunting with my father and grandfather, to the excitement of the present day and eagerly imagining what hunting with my kids will be like when they are old enough.
I imagine it is probably the same for Michael, and many of you reading this.