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December 17: Jeff & David Lindsey

It was approaching mid December and Jeff and I had hunted hard all year. We had spent a lot of time this year hanging in trees doing the thing we love and now we were headed south to Tara,Wildlife. We went down there during Dream Season last year the end of the year, but this year were going about 6 weeks earlier. We were pumped knowing the the rut should be going strong and Tara’s manager, Bobby Culbertson had been texting us giving us updates to what was going on and we couldn’t wait to climb a tree.

In mid December we are typically set up at home trying to kill one of our deer during our gun seasons but this year we elected to wait and hunt the late Muzzle loader season and try to extend our rut just a little longer. We arrived at camp mid day on Sunday afternoon December 12th, dialed our PSE’s in and headed out to climb a tree in this beautiful bottomland. One thing we didn’t expect was how these deer were going to act with this cold weather, we had sure brought the cold weather with us and we thought this was a good thing. It turned out we were way wrong. The cold southern weather had these deer bedded up the first 2 days in almost a state of shock.

On Tuesday morning Bobby knew it was going to be a heavy frost and since the mornings had been dead he encouraged everyone to sleep in and go hop in a stand around 10 a.m. and set the remainder of the day. This turned out to be a great move. It seemed the deer movement started to pick up soon as we got settled in as the weather warmed up. It was Jeff’s turn to hunt that day and he almost shot a nice 10 pointer that just wouldn’t come in close enough for a lethal shot.

The following day things started to get even better, I was back to filming Jeff and around ten thirty we saw a 140’’ 9 pointer but he never got close enough for a shot. We ended up seeing the same 10 pointer from the day before but he once again eluded us. The next day I was back hunting/jeff filming and we headed back right to the same honey hole in the middle of a bunch of water oak trees. The deer numbers we were seeing were incredible and we were witnessing something we had never seen before, blackbirds drawing in the deer. When the black birds would come in and land in the tops of these oaks and start knocking the acorns down, the deer would come running. It was literally like ringing a dinner bell! I actually drew back on the same 10 pointer we had been seeing the last couple of days after one of these blackbird experiences but had so many deer around us a yearling 6 point caught me trying to draw and spooked the whole herd. We were so close to killing one of these bucks but it just wasn’t happening, we were starting to get tired of getting up at 4 in the morning and sitting all day but were not giving up with a day and a half left.

Friday morning was going to be our last sit in this honey hole as the winds were going to be flip flopping at noon that day. About 9:00 a.m. or so a big bodied deer was out in front of us eating acorns, we watched him for about a half hour but wasn’t getting any closer. We needed blackbirds! Sure enough, here they came flying in raining the acorns down just in time. The deer started coming in, and the big 8 point was in the back. He came to about 40 yards, but was behind some cover and the wind was blowing right where he was about to go. It wasn’t looking good as he turned around and walked back in the thicket and we thought it was all over. He stood there for a couple minutes and stepped out giving me a small window of opportunity to get a shot off at 42 yards. I put my new PSE Vendetta forty yard pen on him and let it fly, the Rage did the rest. He ran about 75 yards and stopped, he just stood there and you could tell he wasn’t going far. I felt I had made a good shot but, the footage made the shot appear it hit a little farther back because of the angle, (later we found it wasn’t, I had made a good shot) so we gave him the rest of the day to expire. We had been bringing both of our bows to the stand in case one of us killed, so we soon switched places and Jeff started hunting. The faithful 10 pointer showed up 15 minutes later but he fed right out of range. We got down right before 1 p.m. and decided to hunt that evening in a different spot then go get my buck.

At 1:30 p.m. we were back in a tree close to a small food plot on a scrape line. We were sitting there, reliving the morning, not seeing any deer but having a good time. All of a sudden I look up and tell Jeff here comes a buck, this guy comes straight in to the scrape at 15 yards and Jeff makes up his mind to whack him, the buck didn’t go 75 yards. What a day! To say that we were excited would be an understatement! We had gone from not knowing if we would even be taking a buck back home to 2 on the ground in the same day. It was a cool father/son moment, we don’t get to film each other that much but we had logged over 50 hours in the stand together in 5 days and had 2 great bucks to show for it.

We love Tara Wildlife and have made some lifelong friends at that place in Bobby, Justin, Blake and Don. We can wait to get back there to hunt next year and really want to thank Michael Jones and the state of Mississippi (www.visitmississippi.org) for being so kind in allowing us to hunt their beautiful state and be their guests for a few days. - David