November 20: Jesse McBee

How is it that deer know exactly when you’ve packed up to leave?

It happens more often than you’d think. You’re lowering your gun or bow down from the stand and you hear crunching leaves and twigs coming your direction. How do they do that?

Missouri’s rifle season had been a slow one for Jesse. In fact, it actually came down to the very last day. He and brother Steven concealed in their Nomad gear slipped into a blind overlooking an alfalfa field before first light. Steven ran camera and Jesse was up to bat.

The guys watched as day broke over their north Missouri farm, golden light illuminating the few remaining dried leaves still clinging to their branches.  Aside from birds and squirrels, nothing moved. They scanned the field hoping for some type of redemption for what had been an uneventful firearm season.

The thought of breakfast back at the house began to overtake the reality of zero deer movement so around 9:20 am the guys began stowing gear into their Tenzing packs to head back in. While in the process of packing, Jesse’s eyes caught movement in the alfalfa field. 90 yards away a buck was cruising through on his way to the next block of timber.

Quickly, Jesse loaded the gun as Steven spun to capture video of the deer. Perfectly broadside, Jesse took the shot and put a round just behind the buck’s shoulder. The deer sped off into the timber but only made it 20 yards before piling up.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly a season can change?

From zero to hero shots all in one morning. Jesse’s hunt is proof of how important time in the stand is. The more of it you log, the more opportunity you have, though we still never got an answer to the question of how deer know when we’ve packed up to leave. I suppose we’ll have to file that in the same category as how wait staff know when you have a mouthful of food to ask how the meal is.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.