No go on the alternate picture.
Snyder, who I know hunts mostly national forest, snapped this shot himself, using the self-timer on his camera. In his rush and excitement he missed the rule “Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.” (The muzzleloader was unloaded, but the rule still pertains.) Anyway, I already called him on it so probably no need to pile on, right?
Here’s his story, which is a good one:
“First I want to thank you for moderating the blog. It has been tremendous fun for me personally throughout the fall so far. I have enjoyed the rut thread and seeing the results. There have been some fine bucks harvested this year. As you may remember from some of the early pics I sent you I had a few beauties in my mental scope long before the season came in, and they have taught me that no matter what my plans are, and what I ‘think’ I have figured out about them, I will never completely win the game, which keeps me coming back for more.
I have been skunked by the three big boys I have been pursuing. I did manage to score, as well as see a few nice shooters. On one occasion, I just couldn’t get myself together quick enough to get the appropriate shot, so I had to let a very nice one walk. That is how it goes.
The attached pictures are of a nice gobbler I got on a pretty sunny day, and the nice seven-pointer I killed on Nov. 14. He really put on a show.
I got to my stand well before daylight, as this stand is located between two bedding areas separated by about 250 yards of beautiful hardwoods. Once in my stand, I had deer move in behind me. There was some chasing going on and I could distinctly hear grunting.
The chasing went on for about 20 minutes and I held high hopes the deer would stay in my area until shooting light. As it got light I could see three brown forms chasing each other around, but the chasing was taking them closer and closer to the bedding area to my west. They were gone before legal shooting light arrived. Around 8:15 I had a nice six-point come bounding out of the bedding area to my west, followed shortly by three does. Fifteen minutes after they cleared my area, a nice eight-point came down the ridge and across the flat in front of me. I followed him in the scope, but knowing there were much larger bucks in the area I held off.
Over the next couple of hours I saw a lot of chasing by younger bucks. At 10:20 a.m. the eight-point from earlier came running back by my stand from the east. He stopped and looked back over his shoulder and here came a heavier-beamed seven-point. The seven-point charged in and worked a scrape to the south of my stand while the eight-point walked south in a drainage ditch.
When the 7 point finished working the scrape, he could hear the eight-point and he took off after him. The eight-point finally stood his ground directly to my west at about 25 yards and the two squared off. They fought, and I mean they REALLY fought hard. These bucks would surely kill a man with the quickness and energy they displayed. At one point, the seven-point was fighting the eight-point back up the hill out of the drainage into the flat about 25 yards in front of me.
As the two bucks went at it, I was drawn away from all the racket and excitement by noise to my east, I looked over to see a spike and a forked horn buck coming into the flat to see what was going on. A doe had also moved in to where the scrape location was and was staring intently on the action.
When the two bucks finally broke from each other, they stood there with their heads down panting and drooling. After what seemed like 10 minutes, the seven-point let out this crazy growl/grunt that was about 10 seconds long and all the bucks scattered as he ran after them. Even the doe took off for parts unknown. The seven-point squared around and came back into the flat and by this time I was square on him and dropped the hammer.
This buck was in full rut, he stunk and his neck was swelled quite well. He gave me one of the most memorable hunts I think I will ever have. He may not be a trophy in some hunters’ minds, but I will take a buck like this any day. Keep ‘em coming.”