Ed's Elk Adventures: Where adventure finds you.

The big bully

It was a bright cheerful Sunday and my hunting crew and I went out to hunt the ever allusive wild turkey. With decoy in hand we climbed the hills until we got to the top of a rich green field. We let out a shrill cluck, trying to call ourselves a great big Tom. Yet there was no answer, again. We'd been trying to call a turkey for nearly a week now, and with little to no results.

My group and I decided the best course of action now was to break up into three groups and hunt in different directions so that we wouldn't disturb each other. So my Daughter and I went down the valley while my Nephew and his friend went hunting up along the creekbed and my brother-in-law stayed in the clearing to make calls. Climbing up the next rise my daughter and I came along a huge clearing. We both were excited because it looked like a perfect place to find that huge Tom we both just knew was around here somewhere, afterall, we'd at least gotten one turkey by opening day before. So we worked our way down into the clearing and then set up along the flat saddle of the clearing. The ground sprung up around us, and this saddle seemed the only place that the turkey would be able to cross if we were able to call one of them in. I set out my flex turkey decoy and we both sat down beneath the oak trees. The sun was getting higher and higher in the sky as we waited, calling now and then with our shrill boxcall. That's when "HE" came, we were getting bored and my eyes were starting to droop and my head was nodding, when a loud *CRACK* rang out. Our eyes both flew open to a deer standing a few hundred yards away. He was slowly approaching us as he walked along the saddle. I guess that I was right about the saddle being a perfect place for a turkey to pass over, it seemed it was true for deer as well. The deer slowly approached, setting one foot out and then sliding forward, then the next and sliding forward again. From the very first we knew there was something weird about this deer, he was acting very sneaky, which is not a normal thing to see in a deer. We watched him as he walked up along our left side, then he stopped suddenly, having caught sight of the turkey decoy. That's when he did something even more strange, he didn't run.. he snorted at it, almost sounding like a pig. Then he came closer to the decoy as it fluttered in the wind, turning back and forth. He no longer was sneaking, now he was being a bully. He was trying to scare the fluffy fake decoys off. He stamped his feet as he walked, one foot rising then coming very hard to the ground, then the next. No longer did he look docile and graceful, he looked clumsy and silly walking in a circle around the decoy, snorting and stomping as he went. He would start towards the decoy and then bound at it, leaping in the air and landing very close to it. Then he just kept doing that, taking one giant leap in the air and landing hard onto the ground. The decoy of course, didn't seem to care in the slightest, yet the deer didn't want to deter. He kept leaping and bounding, stomping his feet and snorting at the decoys, trying to scare them away. He finally bounded off, we could hear him in the distance as he bounded away. We giggled and settled back down to call on our handy dandy boxcall. After the call though, we were surprised again when low and behold. *CRACK* the bounding deer... bounded BACK.. stomping and jumping and snorting all over again. Maybe he thought the decoys had meant that call he just made as a threat? and Mr. Deer wasn't about to let him get away with it? So on it went bounding and snorting and trying to scare the decoys away... again. Finally again he got tired and started to bound away, but we couldn't help it, we started giggling quietly. When he heard us he jumped high in the air on his retreat, did a 180, landing with a crash facing the decoy again, as if he was telling the decoys to go ahead and laugh again. He walked back slowly toward the decoy until he was hiding behind a bush, his little face parted the bush as he watched the decoy, as if he were half hidden behind the bush or something. It was so comical to see this deer so interested in our decoy. We even considered bring a turkey decoy with us next time we went deer hunting. The deer after a few more hours of pretending to leave but not really leaving, finally DID leave and we got up and left, laughing all the while.