Location: Southeast Colorado
Temperature: 63 degrees and dropping
Wind: 12-14 mph from the East
Barometric Pressure: 30.0 and rising
Moon Phase: Last Quarter

I just had that feeling. The temperature was dropping, the barometric pressure was right and the wind was perfect for my planned evening perch. It’s one of my favorites — a lone cottonwood smack in the middle of some knee-high CRP. A lone, winding creek snakes through the bottom of the golden grass with miles of sage brush sprawling out behind it, and a cut cornfield sits to to the west. Yes, it’s plains mule deer heaven.

I thought I was plenty early, but I had to do some serious Houdini-like tricks to climb into my stand undetected. Seven mule deer does and a pair of small bucks mingled in the sage on the far side of the creek. They were over 400 yards away, but they had a clear view of my approach. I managed to reach the seat on my Summit Crush stand without tipping my hand to the mingling herd.

Everything felt right. Flock after flock of migrating fowl flew overhead, and tons of morning doves landed in the tree I was sitting in. It was awesome. Plus, every time I lifted my Maven Optics, I managed to pick out a few more deer. One buck in particular commanded my attention. He was a wide 4×4, and, though he was over 700 yards away, I could easily tell he was a shooter. My gaze was so fixated on him, I missed an opportunity at a coyote that snuck under my stand. Critters were moving, and it was shaping up to be on of those epic evenings in a tree.

I know, I know. Go stalk, right? Remember, I’m being patient, looking for a few certain bucks, and I don’t want to disturb anything just yet. Sitting high in a tree — a tree I could easily kill out of but makes an even better observation stand — is the smart play for time being.

With the sinking of the western sun, my deer count climbed to 21. Mostly does and small bucks, and the one shooter was feeding in a green field over 400 yards away. He would have to wait for another day. Still, though, 21 deer! How can you beat that for an October set? With only minutes of shooting light left, a pair of mulie bucks (115-incher and a respectable 130-incher) cruised under my stand. I didn’t even grab my bow. The rut is still several weeks away, and, with all the doe activity, I should have multiple shooters show up soon. Until then, the journey continues, and it’s the journey that I cherish.