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Hello all hello MI,

First let me paint the setting. I primarily hunt bow and primarily on 140 acres of private land north of Bloomington. The property starts southern end at road with mostly old growth 500yards from the road is a 10 acre lake on the west end of the lake (the dam) is the border of a 4 acre field surrounded on the s, w, and north by trees just out of the south side of the field is a large thick area with sapplings burrs and stalk weeds to the north are several finger ridges with large acorn bearing oaks below the ridges and running to the north border is a thick bottom area that carries 700 yards to a large creek (20' wide by 5-10' deep) tucked in the northwest corner of the field is a grove of sycamores (avg. 10" diameter) that is round and about 50 yards across a somewhat open 10 yard wide area separates the sycamores from the larger trees to the north and west. My stand is 10 yards out from the fields edge in this north west corner. It was on Oct.15th of this year from this stand that I had the most amazing experience of my 13 years of deer hunting.
I arrive in my stand 6am and settled in. At 6:30am a small 6 pointer came towards my stand from south to north (my stand faces south) through the woods lining the west end of the field, 10 yards from me he turned into the nw corner of the field. He made his u turn out of the woods and back south on the west edge of the field. When he was about 50 yards from me I hit my grunt a couple times mildly. He circled back into the west woods and bedded down at woods edge 40 yards in front of me. Just 15 short mins. later three does came thru the sycamores to my left 20yards and into the nw corner a fork buck with large main beams (likely and older buck on his way down antler wise) followed grunting. He looked like he had be through heck to put is nicely. The six got up and joined them 20 yards from me in the corner of the field. The next thing i saw really got me going a group of 4 does and 3 bucks came from the north woods and cut from center of the field 80 yards from me to the south west quadrant of the field. The largest buck approx. 12 pointer was 20" spread (conservative) with very large mass and the g-5's were approx 9" tall and he appeared to have split brow tines, with him was a large 8 point (approx. 120-130 class buck) and a nice six both with 14-18" spread. The old fork, small 6, and three does then crossed from nw corner to se corner. All these deer were slow moving and milling around. the another group of bucks and does (partially obscured by the sycamores) entered from north woods to the ne corner of field. Then I noticed 3 yes three 8 pointers between the sycamores and the large woods just 40 yards behind me and to my left again although I could see these bucks clearly I had no clean shot thru the sycamores. It was about this time or possibly before now that so much was going on I could not keep acurrate track of how many from where and in what sequence. I was so ready to scream would just one of these tophy bucks come into the nw corner of the field as I have a clearing 15 yards wide from my stand into the field any deer crossing that shooting lane within 40 yards of my stand is a viable target. Shortly after my mental shouting of this 3 does and 3 bucks came due south thru the sycamores toward the field the last buck was a high racked 10 with long tines (140-150class) but as I had alread summized by the path the does took he and the other two bucks turned into the center of the field just shy of clearing the sycamore branches over hanging the field the only shot I had at him was no shot as his rump was facing me at 50 yards by the time there were no SYCAMORE branches for my arrow to hit and the only vital on a rear shot is the whitetail equivalent of the femural artery in a human.
Through all this no less than three does at separate times passed within 20 feet of me stopped looked a hole through me, stomped, and rolled thier head around (like a mad wife would when shes reading her husband the riot act) and then decided they had better things to do than worry about me and went on about thier way without blowing the siren.
The does when broadside in the field had thier mouths gapping so wide it looked as if you could slide a 2x4 into them. The bucks must have been running them all night. All this and not once did I see any of the bucks show any aggression toward one another what so ever.
Then as quick as it had started it ended like a blanket of fog burned off by heavy sunlight. It was 8am now and nary a trace of a deer until I left the stand at 11:30am. During everthing that went on I made two phone calls on my cell phone trying to reach my idiot buddy who stood my up the night before. You see he was supposed to go with me and depending on which stand he chose either him or myself would have been in my stand on the south treeline the same stand which the 160-170 class 12 pointer slowly passed broadside 15yards out from the stand in the wide open field. The next day a very nice 8 chased a doe 10 yards left of me but at a dead run which offered no ethical shot, which proves you might see 2 deer one day and 40 some deer the day before but theres no garrauntee you'll ever get the trophy you so richly deserve for all the; scouting, target practice, moon phase planning, stand placing, scent covering, grunt calling, and antler rattling, that you've perfected over years of trial and error.
The moral to the story is never doubt your hunting buddy and never ever back out on a planned hunt at peak rut two days before the first full moon in october because you might just pass up the buck of a lifetime during the warmth of bow season and be resigned to a; non rut running,late bow season, frost bitten, wishin you'dve gotten your deer earlier day of wonderful hunting.

P.S. The first rut will always begin leading up to the first full moon after the fall solstice (1st full moon in Oct.) Safe bet throughout deer season 4days prior to the full moon the day of the full moon and 4days after are very good days for daytime deer movement trending toward late morning to midday. The same thing for the new moon 4days before the day of new moon and 4days after are awesome days for daytime deer movement trending toward early morning and late afternoon. Best mature buck time would be full moon period. Anytime is a good time to hunt but these times are far and away the best the farther you get from these times I dont even go hunting I've proven it to myself too many times so much so I broke a ten year tradition with my good hunting buddy a couple years back on opening day of gun season, he called me an idiot he didnt see hide nor hair of a deer that day neither did anyone else in the hunting party, and for that matter none of the dozens of hunters at the local dinner where my buddy had lunch that day, its taken about 3 years but he is starting to believe what I've been telling him about hunting according to moon phase and the rut according to moon phase. The rut is the same time every year, same moon-lunar time that is, the only variable is how heavy the rut is which can be mostly affected by much higher or lower than normal temperatures or very heavy weather fronts if these cause a light 1st rut in october you can bet it will be heavy in november during gun season. Judging by my experience this year I'd have to say the heaviest rutting was mid October so if you don't bow hunt you better start or your missing out on the best hunting most years. :bash: <---me trying to convince my buddy....
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