Member’s Hunt: A Deer Camp to Remember

posted on April 6, 2024
MH Jacob Rosenmeier Lead

By Jacob Rosenmeier, Boonville, Ind.

Deer camp had finally arrived—the annual weekend filled with good friends, good food and hopefully plenty of deer. The Indiana firearm season in 2019 delivered on all accounts. Our group consisted of four (myself, Jared, Rick and John) hunting a 60-acre parcel nestled amongst Hoosier National Forest and bordering the White River. We arrived on Friday to do some scouting and place stands, and the area looked promising as we found plenty of rub lines and scrapes. After finishing our work hanging stands we settled into our cabin and got the woodstove roaring, the steaks sizzling and were telling tales of hunts we’ve all heard before but don’t mind hearing again. After dinner we played cards and drew straws for stand choices the next morning.

The alarm blared at 4:30 a.m., waking us all in time to grab some coffee and a quick bite before dressing and heading out into the cool morning. The temperature was hovering right around freezing with a waning moon. A frost added an extra crunch to the leaves as we all made our way to our respective stands. I was settled into my stand that bordered the river by about 5:30. My back was to the cold wind that blew off the river and there was a decoy we nicknamed “Bubba” about 30 yards to my left and looking into a thicket. As daylight began to break, shots rang out off in the distance signaling the official beginning of firearm season. Shortly before 7 a.m. a shot rang out from John’s direction. Jared and I exchanged a quick text speculating on whether it was a buck or doe John had taken.

 At 7:38, I had my first deer sighting. I spotted a doe on the ridge 90 yards to my left. I raised my rifle and found a shooting lane, and mentally took myself through the shot before lowering my gun and letting her walk away. I sent a text to Jared to let him know of my first sighting and he responded that he had just seen a shooter buck but couldn’t get a shot. About five minutes later I caught sight of a large-bodied deer moving through the thicket 40 yards in front of me. As the deer walked through an opening I could immediately tell it was a shooter.

I pulled out my grunt call to try to get his attention and draw him in to check out “Bubba.” I blew the grunt call once, twice, three times, but the buck paid it no attention. He was walking quickly down a trail headed to the spot where I had seen the doe a few minutes before. I abandoned the grunt call, raised my rifle and found the opening for a shot through my scope. I waited for the buck to enter my scope, and as the crosshair settled on his shoulder, I squeezed. As the report rang out, the buck dropped in his tracks and rolled over before getting back to his feet and stumbling out of my view. I waited 20 minutes before beginning to climb down from the stand, and as I was halfway down the ladder, I could see the deer lying next to a tree. It was a large-bodied mature deer and my biggest buck to date. I would eventually score it at 147 inches as a main-frame 8-point with two kickers.

We hauled my buck and John’s doe out to the truck, told our tales and admired the deer. The next morning, Rick was able to add to the haul with a buck of his own—a 6-point which should have been an 8 but two points were broken. By the end of the weekend we had sighted a total of 17 bucks and 16 does. The combination of the perfect weather, camaraderie and deer activity had certainly made this year a deer camp to remember.

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