by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson


By Bret “T-Bone” Amundson

Bucks are in.   So far.   Reports are coming in that they’re starting to split up, slick back their hair and work on their best pick-up lines.  (All the photos on this blog are from the same piece of land near Moorhead)


A friend of mine was in the stand the other night and passed on a nice 4×5 buck that most people would probably throw a broadhead at.   His reasoning?  He saw 9 other bucks that night, part of the 30 deer that milled about in front of him.   He also knew there were a couple bigger bucks in the area and he had plenty of time to wait.


If you’re tank hunting and have the time to wait for one to roll by, it can be a rewarding, but long journey.  If your time is limited and you’re not necessarily looking for a wall hanger, you could be in for a good year.

I’ve seen more bucks this year than I ever have.  Full disclosure:  I didn’t deer hunt for about 15 years.  I grew up with it, then had work get in the way up until about 4 years ago.   I have hunted more this year than I ever have, so I guess by default I’ll see more deer/bucks.

I’m hunting in 3 different states, starting with my North Dakota bow tag.   I filled that out west last weekend.  That was the location of the 10 buck/30 deer sighting.  In fact the morning I shot my 5×5, I saw around a dozen deer with at least 5 bucks in it.

The other location that holds two of my stands is near Moorhead, Minnesota.  Between the trail cam and myself, there has been at least 10 different bucks spotted.  They may not all be monsters, but anytime a timberghost appears out of nowhere and gives me a glimpse of hardware, it’s a pulse-quickening moment.  If there is cover, you wait for openings to size up the deer, try to count points and utilize those split second chances to decide whether or not he’ll be adorned with a sight pin.

I’ve yet to draw at the Moorhead location, but as I discovered in the Badlands, it can all change in about 30 seconds.  Seeing a lot of bucks in the area just gives me the hope that the magic 30 could happen at anytime.   With the gun deer season around the corner, I’m hoping I get to spend a little quality time with Brutus before someone else does.   If not, that’s ok, there are other bucks out there, and if you can’t get out there until Saturday, that could be music to your ears.

We spoke with Lou Cornicelli from the Minnesota DNR and he explains on this week’s Minnesota Sporting Journal Radio show that the deer numbers still need to climb to get back to the management goals.  The conservative number of tags this season could be frustrating if you are seeing a lot of deer, but keeping the harvest low this year should offer a great year in the woods next fall.   Hear more of his interview, along with Mark Johnson from the MN Deer Hunters Association and Tyler Scott from Heart O’ Lakes Quality Deer Management this week on the radio show.   Find out where  and when you listen here. 

That is not your best side.

Get out there and good luck this weekend!

This guy I saw…just had the wrong wind and he busted. jerk.

*By the way, the land that I’m hunting on is for sale.  Watch for my article in the Minnesota Sporting Journal Fall issue about this property!


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