Buck challenge

groundtender

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Have any of you ever had a similar experience? This has happened to me 3 times in about 40 years. The first time it happened, an old timer in camp told me that I had been challenged by a buck. On all three occasions it happened to me just at the very first skrid of daylight, right at the start of legal shooting. The first two times, 7 or 8 years apart in different southern Maine woods, I had entered the woods in the dark, and followed a long trail towards my stand. Just at daylight I heard blowing and a clatter out ahead. In both cases the deer was running back and forth kicking up his hind legs, and blowing alot. In both cases I initially froze, and then tried sneaking in. In all three cases the buck would run off in the distance blowing, with the blowing getting less and less easier to hear. Again, in all three cases the buck would come charging back, and repeat the process of running away and coming back. I did identify the first two as having antlers, never got that good a look at #3. In the first two cases it was fairly up close at times, 25 -30 yards at closest. Needless to say, my cage was pretty well rattled in all three instances. I fired at and missed 1 and 2, never fired at 3, but am sure it was a buck. #3 occurred just as I was starting to enter the woods up by Ledbetter Falls/Comstock. It was muzz week about 20 years ago. All I can say is if it ever happens again, I hope to have the presence of mind to basically charge in when the buck is in one of his running away and blowing modes, because all three of them would come back to where the started from about three times. As I said, the old guy in camp without hesitation told me the buck had challenged me and probably thought maybe I was another buck. No buck down for me, but pretty damned exciting nevertheless.
 

groundtender

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Good question. Pretty sure there weren’t others nearby in 1st two. In last occurrence I cannot imagine there were any within a few miles of me. MZ week in NMW isn’t very well attended.
 

longbow

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Sounds like the deer were reacting to you then. As you know, some of those bucks don't run into too many people in the woods. Maybe unsure of what you were and challenging, as you said.
 

NH Hunter

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I had a buck come in and snort wheeze at me one night in some hemlocks. I could't ever see him. The coolest experience ever was hearing two bucks fighting in a swamp. They were in the water. I was so close I could hear them blowing the water out their noses. I was with my friends dad. He snuck around one side of the swamp, I snuck to the other. The thought was hopefully they'd smell one of us and exit the swamp in front of the other.

The plan worked flawlessly except the doe came out 10 yards in front of me, one buck busted out right behind her and I couldn't get a shot. The other buck ran the entire length of the swamp and exited at the furthest point where neither of us saw him.
 

JDK

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Twice in consecutive years within 50 yards of each other. First time was the Friday after thanksgiving. Second was Monday of Muzzleloader season. Almost exactly what you described including same time of day. Didn’t get the buck either day but killed one the next day with a rifle in the exact same spot.
 
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