Pope & Young Pursuit (PYP) Badlands Whitetails

Dakota (1 of 1)

Ben Brettingen

Avery Pro-Staff-Blk-Avatar

It was starting to look a little bleak. After scouting a few weeks ago and seeing deer cross the river without a care in the world, I was pretty optimistic about my chances of harvesting a mature whitetail.

Fast forward to day 3. Racking our brains on what to do, where to go, and where in the world the deer had gone!  As Bret Amundson mentioned in an earlier article,  we had a plethora of 2 legged visitors in the last two weeks, and it definitely altered deer movement.

Dakota doe (1 of 1)

We decided togo back to the original plan and sit in our stands along the Little Missouri River. This was the first time I climbed up into the set I had hung during my scouting trip, as I opted for a ground blind a short distance away during my first sit.

It wasn’t long before I heard the telltale splashing of deer crossing the river just out of sight. Sure enough, a doe and her fawns moseyed through the shallow water, and beelined directly for a break in the fence 10 yards in front of me. They made short work of the distance between the river and the fence break and then hung around my stand for 10 minutes.  Suddenly,  they darted back to the river-20 seconds later I heard a four wheeler come to life with a dog barking with it.  They gone!

Panoramic of my River Stand
Panoramic of my River Stand

As the sun fell beneath the butte, and the light began to slowly deteriorate, I spotted three deer moving to my left. I cautiously turned and saw 3 bucks making their way parallel to my stand around the 45 yard mark. I reached for my bow but didn’t even get to lift it up before I saw their rack. Punching in at the 1 1/2 year old mark, they were safe for a few years. Their complete lack of wariness surprised me,  as they came in downwind and caught me off guard. They made their way to the river within 30 yards of the ground blind I had sat in two days before.

Just as they left my sight, another doe made her way from the same location and went right through the fence gap directly under my tree only stopping to smell my foot prints, before continuing on. To say I was completely smitten with my scent control would be an understatement.

butte set (1 of 1)

The night wasn’t quite over as another doe came from left to right on the two track road nearby and took a hard larry and also walked directly below me.

I didn’t see the buck I was looking for, but after a few rough days it was just what I needed to get the blood pumping again. I love North Dakota hunting in the wide open spaces, spotting and stalking but to get back into a tree in the middle of the woods felt like home again.

It’s my roots, sitting high in a tree, tricking deer. It brought back my motivation just seeing those animals and knowing I was doing something right. I just need a giant to seal the deal.

Some good news came in the form of a text message from a friend.  A picture appeared on my smartphone screen that revealed some visitors to his prime farmland SE of the Twin Cities. Two absolute slobs! They define a hit list! Only a fortnight before we are unleashing some arrows in the Gopher State!


Leave a Reply