The 2022-2023 White Tail Deer Season brought about some changes for me that had not occurred in a long time. A tract of land that I leased for decades sold in early 2022 and I had to vacate. While bittersweet in some regards, it gave me the motivation to set up a new hunting location on our Home Place as well as begin to “learn” a new leased property. Both those experiences have proven beneficial.
Opening day found me in that new spot and one of the animals I observed was much larger, body wise, than our usual spike bucks. His antlers were simply two spikes but longer than generally found on that age class. Because my goal for the day was much more about gathering some “intel” than on harvesting, no shots were fired.
As more deer sightings began to accumulate, it became clear that we had an ample supply of the younger class bucks in our area. In consultation with some game stewards that I respect the decision was made to not gamble this young fellow. Maybe he was a SUPER SPIKE but more likely an older deer that did not develop even one branched main beam or brow tine.
The dilemma became that we no longer saw that fellow over the course of numerous hunts by guests and family. On the Friday afternoon before the spike and doe season was over, I put one of our favorite young friends out in that same location. He had harvested a nice doe already, but his young family could benefit from some additional venison. I reviewed the deer to watch for and those that were “off limits”. The final statement was to look for The Tall Spike as that deer had come to be labeled.
Just about sundown he texted me that Long Spike and a couple of eligible does were at the feeder. I asked that he try for the buck but if an ethical shot did not present itself, take a doe. After some milling around the spike moved away and a well placed single shot created an immediate death.
In reviewing the deer while field dressing him, we confirmed he was older than 1 ½. But further investigation showed an old wound of some kind on his back. All healed up it was difficult to determine if a bullet that was too high, a fence cut, or something else had caused the injury. But we agreed that he was going to be a fine addition to the table fare of his growing family.
And the experience was another one to add the young man’s list of hunting memories. He reminded me his first doe, first mature buck, and now, his first spike had all come while hunting as my guest. With that perspective in mind, I am glad he was the one to harvest The Tall Spike. That made for a wonderful ending to yet another hunting season out in La Brasada.