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Day one deer report: Things are starting to heat up

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A 2.5-year-old eight pointer stands right below the tree stand during an evening hunt on Oct. 27. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)2 / 2

Things are starting to heat up.

That’s the way it should be these last five days of October, and my time in the stand on Saturday indicated the rut isn’t far off.

It always starts with younger bucks on the tails of does, and that is going on right now. I hunted a trail that ran along the military crest of a north-south running ridge this morning and saw a handful of does. About 8:30, a 2.5-year old eight pointer came cruising by behind me about 80 yards away.

The wind, which was forecasted to be out of the west and shifting to the northwest when I looked before 5 a.m., was actually more out of the southeast when it picked up. That wasn’t ideal for the tree I set up my Tethrd Mantis saddle in, so I got down around noon and moved spots for my evening hunt.

The stand I climbed in to at about 4 p.m. was on the bottom of a ridge that runs east and west. It’s a stand that’s hard to get to, but the rain the last couple days allowed me to sneak in quietly.

I hadn’t been set up for 15 minutes when a fork buck started pushing some does and fawns around in front of me. That was a sign of things to come as I saw about 15-20 deer tonight.

A field of knee-high grass sits just to the south of me in this stand, and every deer that crossed that field into the woods was checking on a small cedar tree in the middle. With about 20 minutes of legal shooting light left, a doe and two fawns worked their way to that tree to check out what must be a primary scrape. Suddenly, they ran toward me into the woods.

I figured a buck must be coming into that scrape, and sure enough a deer showed up. He worked the limbs of the cedar with his antlers and sniffed at the ground. I couldn’t tell how big he was, but I knew I wanted to find out.

I grabbed the grunt call and let out a series of tending grunts. He took his time working that scrape but eventually came right to me. The 2.5-year-old eight pointer ripped up a scrape when he got into the woods and then proceeded to come to the base of my stand.

I watched him, shot some video and wished he was a year older. Not quite a buck I want to end my season on in Minnesota, but it was a fun ending to an exciting night.  

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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