Another photo of my buck.
In addition to deer hunting I also did a fair amount of bear hunting with my neighbor Dave and his son Jake. Jake shot a bear but unfortunately we never got any pictures. However, I think it was probably this bear. We did have some very large bears hitting some of our bait stations. Check out some of these photos of different bears at various bait sites.
On the last weekend of the 2008 Minnesota Deer Gun Season I harvested the deer pictured to the left. I knew this buck was in the area and patiently (sort of) waited to be able to hunt him. Finally on the last weekend we got the proper wind direction for me to sneak in to a stand I'd hung months earlier. Getting to this stand in the dark would have been difficult and extremely noisy. So I waited until almost 9:00 am so I would have full light and wouldn't be dealing with the dead silence you have early in the morning. It paid off as I was only on stand less than 15 minutes when I spotted this buck feeding with a doe. They were around 150 yards across a swamp when I first spotted them. However, I was able to coax the doe in to around 30 yards and since she was in estrus the buck came right with her. Fortunately I made a good shot and was able to harvest him. Thanks to my brothers Mark and Steve for helping me to get him out of the woods.
This wasn't the first buck I saw. On opening day alone I saw 4 different bucks. One of those was a pretty respectable 8-pointer. I actually saw him on four different occasions throughout the season and on two of those times watched him make a scrape. I also had a licking branch near one of my stands that was visited by several bucks (including the 8-pointer and a forkhorn) as well as a doe.
Mark saw a number of bucks including the buck I ended up harvesting. He actually had the buck standing directly under his stand earlier in the season and didn't shoot because he was looking for something bigger. And people tell me I'm nuts for not shooting some of the bucks I see!! Steve also saw some bucks including a big 10-pt buck and a truly massive 8-pt buck. The 10-pt ran by him and there was no way to get a shot and the 8-pt crossed a field probably 150 yards from him and was already entering the woods before Steve saw him. The 10-pt was still alive at the end of muzzleloader season. My neighbor Jake saw it. Hopefully they both make it to next year.