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TJ Nagel has been involved in the outdoors his entire life. Hunting and fishing at every opportunity!

Time With Dad

This year once again I had the chance to hunt with my dad. Some might say big deal, you do that every year. Well, as you age and life happens things change. Work schedules, injuries, kids and a host of other life issues all come and go. I have had a very blessed hunting career, starting as a child hunter harvesting my first buck with a bow at the ripe old age of 10! I would never have gotten this deer or any of the string of 8 bucks in 8 years in a row without his help!

So this sets the stage for this year. My father has been battered and bruised over a life of hard knocks and has very limited abilities to get into the deer woods because of all these physical downfalls. I know this is a time of year he looks forward to, like any other lifelong hunter. So with that in mind I set out to make sure his time in the field would be as enjoyable as possible.

This year’s hunt actually started where last year left off. Talk during the end of the season as to building an elevated platform stand to have a better vantage point to hunt from, would become the first step in preparation for this seasons hunt.  We chose a field edge that would not only allow maximum visibility for deer traveling in the area, in addition would allow me to drive to the blind and drop him off.

As the season arrived things worked out perfectly! The first time hunting in the now dubbed “Cadillac” stand, was a success with a mature doe harvested; A perfect shot and a happy hunter with meat in the freezer. Now the thoughts would turn to finding a buck.

With the ever anticipated rut approaching, plans were made to put a full on assault come the week of Halloween until the season would end, either from a hard sought buck harvest or time would run out on another year.

Day after day we would head out to the timber with high anticipation of seeing bucks chasing does through the timber Willy-nilly with no cares in the world. Well as you can figure, that didn’t happen. Several long sits and moves that would put the blinds in closer locations to fresh sign would soon pay off.

After an unsuccessful morning hunt, moving a blind to an area that had several fresh scrapes and distant visual sightings of decent deer, along with scent doctoring the area on the way in and out would be the secrets to success.

Driving in along a heavily used CRP field, trails were littered with scrapes and rubs leading back over the oak flat. Slipping as quiet as possible back over the leaf littered saddle, freshening each scrape as we passed and leaving a great scent line for any approaching buck to find, we arrived at the blind and wished each other luck as I departed. I made one last stop upwind of the blind about 30 yards out I opened a new can of Buck Bomb estrus and let the plumb of deer scent fill the air over the ridge into the bedding area below.

After a short wait, as on script a buck entered the flat following the drip line and stopping in the last scrape, with nose high and lip curling, the buck followed the saturated scent bomb on a path that would take him broadside at 30 yards. Nerves on edge, heart pounding… a mouth grunt and the arrow was off!
A perfect shot with no need for a trailing job, 50 yards and the trophy lay still.

I received the phone call at 5:20 “buck down”. As I walked in I could see the smile that told more than any words could or would ever be able to express. A hug and an excited explanation as we walked the short distance; Kneeling over to put his hands on the antlers for the first time, I had a flash back to all those times when the roll was reversed and it was him looking at me. I couldn’t have been any prouder if I would have shot that deer myself. Congratulations Dad! I look forward to doing it again next year when you get another nice buck… just a little smaller than the one I get, of course.


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