SADDLE: Tethrd Mantis
On December 1, 2018 I left my house in North Georgia to go on a quota hunt in Rome, Georgia at Berry college! Weather man called for rain but after waiting all week to be off work I was going regardless. The previous weekend I made a trip and scouted the area and put in 5 miles of scouting and found a spot with the freshest deer sign and planned to get in early and sit all day. Once I got to the management area I put on my Mantis and grabbed my gear and rifle and struck out at 4:30 in the morning due to having to hike in 1 1/2 miles as the crow flies. Once I crossed over the mile mark the bottom let out and the more I walked the worse it rained! At this point I was regretting going hunting, and ended up sitting on my pack against the tree with my tree umbrella.
As daylight broke, the wind picked up. It was 40 degrees and I was soaked. I decided to hike back to the truck and dry out! The hike back was rough as the ridges became slick and I kept falling down. At this point My gut and mind kept telling me I should of went to a permission property of 55 acres that was only 10 minutes from my house (my first ever time having private land to hunt in my life). I hunkered down in my truck and dried out.
As the rain cleared for a short time I decided to go to a closer spot. I got set up and ready for a mid day/afternoon hunt! One hour later a guy walked up to 40 yards of me and never seen me due to using and good back drop and being able to have the tree in front of me. At this point my gut and mind told me to leave and go to the private property that I’ve tried to keep low hunting pressure on and only had one camera on the entire property. On the way out the two bridge’s I crossed to get in were flooded. Talk about flash flooding!
As I got in a spot to watch a big ridge we had a east wind and I realized this was the wind I’d been waiting for! Being a saddle hunter you’re very mobile and quiet. Slipping into the spot I’ve been waiting for, I was on high alert and felt something was right! I got to the area I was going to climb and saw a deer slipping mid-ridge in some thick pines. I pulled the rifle up and saw a nice antler and noticed it was a deer I wanted to take! As I was on one knee and safety off he had to take one step and I would of put it on his vitals but instead he turned straight to me then I realized the width of him as he stared me down!! He wasn’t going to get away he was only 40 yards and as he looked down the ridge at me once he lifted his head BOOM! I had it right on his neck and he dropped in his track’s and I was shaking in mine.
Thanks to Tethrd for making something so mobile if I was using my summit this wouldn’t of been a possibility because I wouldn’t of moved to adjust for the wind. I stayed soaked and cold all day long and at the end, my worst day of hunting turned into my best! I’m blessed to be able to take such a beautiful animal and to be a saddle hunter!