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About Time
Dove Hunt Canoe the Cahaba About Time



It's About Time!

by Mike Luther


It has taken me 20 years to finally kill a whitetail worthy enough to mount on my wall.  After joining a few hunting clubs and spending a lot of money each year, I decided to try my luck at hunting Alabama Wildlife Management Areas.  My family is very competitive when it comes to sports.  Before my father passed away 2 hunting seasons ago, he was fortunate enough to get two nice bucks which are mounted on my wall in one of my rooms at home.  My brother has three even bigger bucks mounted on his wall, two of which were killed in one season.  Don't you think I got picked on that season? 

A few years ago, I stalk hunted a little in the Cahaba River Wildlife Management Area and had little luck.  In February of 2001, my wife and I built a house in Alabaster.  Since the Cahaba River WMA was no more than 10 minutes from my house, I figured I would do some pre-season scouting in September and early October.  I saw a couple of deer.  A few does up close and a few small rack bucks at a distance of about 80 yards or more away.  Needless to say, I was excited about the 2002 season.

In the early bow season I passed up a couple of small spikes that were well in range.  In order for me to maximize my chances of getting a nice buck, I decided to take advantage of the second gun hunt of the season.  It was the morning of December 8th, and it didn't start off very well.  With great anticipation of the upcoming hunt, like many hunters, I had trouble falling asleep the night before.  When I finally fell asleep, my alarm didn't wake me up as early as I wanted it to.  I knew exactly which tree I was going to climb, pictured which direction the deer would come from and dreamed of my perfect shot.  Until, I drove to my choice spot and someone had already beat me to it.  Luckily for me, there was a fog that morning and visibility allowed me to get to my second choice area in time before daylight.

Everyone knows that when you enter a management area you are bound to run into other hunters.  Well, while I was walking on a dead end dirt road, about two hundred yards long, a truck turns by my car and drives right up to me.  I stopped the driver and asked if he saw my car.  The only thing he could say was, " Is this not the road to get to the river?  I haven't hunted here in three years.  Sorry."  I told him to turn around and gave him directions to the area he wanted to go.  Disgruntled, I continued on up the road and climbed up a tree a quarter of the way down the hill on the edge of a pine thicket and a clear cut about 20 yards above a scrape line.  There was a creek at the bottom of the hill and a long green field on the other side of the creek just past a hardwood bottom.

By now it was about 7a.m.  The fog was beginning to burn off when I saw another hunter walking down the dirt road on the next ridge about three hundred yards away.  He disappeared over the other side of the ridge until about 7:30a.m.  I guess he got tired of sitting too long.  Waiting patiently, glassing the hardwood bottom, I heard a noise very close by, at 8a.m.  It's bad enough that I can only hear out of one ear but to add to that I couldn't see what made the noise.  Much to my amazement, out of the thicket to the right and 20 yards below my stand, the biggest huntable deer I had ever seen alive during a hunting season stepped out on the edge of the cutover.  At first I thought, "Take a deep breath. This is what you have always dreamed about since your dad took you hunting 20 years ago."  I did just that. I took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger of my 30-06, and my wall mounter dropped. 

I field dressed my "Bruiser of a buck" and took it to the Check-in station where it was weighed in at an estimated 234lbs.  I thought the game warden was going to tell me that my buck was the biggest deer ever killed on the management area, but he said an hour earlier a hunter brought in another 10 point with a higher rack that weighed 238lbs. 

I wish my dad could have been there.  I know his first words probably would have been," It's about time!".

I have a couple of pointers if you are going to hunt in a WMA.  First, set two alarms.  Second, try to do a little pre-season scouting so you don't get lost.  Third, always have a back up plan.  Fourth, Be Patient! Be Safe! and Keep Dreaming of that big buck ! ! !


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Last modified: 01/28/07