After several seasons of hunting whitetails in North Dakota, Mike and myself decided to get in the lottery for the statewide ‘Any Deer’ tag. This tag gives us the option to hunt whitetail or mule deer. Upon being successful in the tag drawing, the planning began. Mike made an early season scouting trip earlier this summer with his fiancé to check out the area that we planned to hunt. We landed in a particular area due to being tipped off by a good buddy that used to live in the area. With a 4 day weekend, we had high hopes of getting on some good bucks. The first 2 days of the hunt consisted of covering a lot of ground, doing a lot of glassing, and just not finding the bucks that we were hoping to put our tag on.
On day 3, we would finally begin to make some headway. It was mid morning when Mike glassed up a shooter nearly a mile away with a group of does. After watching them for awhile, they split apart and the buck bedded alone high on a hillside. We circled the hill, got on top and gained 30-40 feet of elevation on the bedded buck before slipping in closer. With virtually no wind at all, we were able to slip into 40 yards and the buck busted out of his bed before Mike could get to full draw. Later in the day, I glassed up another good buck bedded in a drainage ditch all by himself. It was getting to be later in the day so we knew we needed to close the gap before the buck would stand up and begin moving for the evening. We were able to get to 100 yards, with a well thought out plan for closing the remaining gap, when the buck fed out of his bed. Game over.
On the final morning of the hunt, we were able to glass up a couple more good bucks and try another stalk attempt. However, with another calm day and no wind, it was nearly impossible to get within bow range. Although opening weekend would leave us empty handed, we learned a lot about an area that was completely new to us. We have every intention of figuring out this public land piece of heaven over the next several seasons. Mike plans to return next week for round 2, hoping for better weather conditions.