So I just stalked my first big buck with a bow.
I'm in the blind for 20 minutes and I see a nice 10 I've had on camera for 2 years now to my 2 o'clock at 55 yards. He's just licking a branch and hanging out. He starts moving further away towards a creek, and starts to rake the trees with his rack.
Now I've wanted this buck for a while, and he rarely comes out, so I'm thinking what do I do now? I call my buddy and ask if I should go after him. To which he replies, "yep, go after him." So I shed my pack and other small items, grab my bow and awkwardly get out of my blind.
He's moving down the creek now, but there's 2 major trails I know they like, so I sat on the hillside for 15 minutes until I just had to pick one. The wind is perfect, blowing over him and right into my face as I crouch walk along the hillside, having to use my left hand to stabilize myself due to the incline.
I get to a group of cedars and wait to see if I chose correctly. I'm shocked to see he's coming right towards the path. Further up the hillside I go until I'm on flat ground overlooking the area by about 12 feet. I track him in my binos for 15 minutes until he disappears in a thicket. That's when I move to a trail intersection I know they like. I range it at 30 yards. Perfect.
He has to come this way. But it's been what feels like forever, and I convince myself he's doubled back and is going away from me. I'll push up to the trail so I can see down it. My first 3 steps slowly crunch in the leaves, which to me sounds like a semi driving through a China shop.
On my fifth step, I realize I screwed up. There he was. About to cross the path I was set up on. (Picture 1 is him staring at me). He flicks his tail as I stand still for a while, then turns and bolts for 30 yards, (pic 2) stopping to mock me from the safety of the cedars. All I had to do was wait!
Exciting as all hell, and so frustrating that I was distracted by it all day at work. But for my first time creeping up on a whitetail, I'm pretty okay with it.