I own land on the Minnesota River in western Minnesota. This past fall while hunting over an Imperial Whitetail Clover food plot, I heard a soft, slow step coming through the woods. It finally came through with its head all the way to the ground in very thick buckthorn. It was a large 8-point about 20 yards from the stand.
Due to tree branches in the way, I could not get off a shot. It stood for at least 10 minutes with its eyes fixed, looking at something past me. I then heard something approaching from that direction, so I slowly turned around and could not see anything. When I turned back the 8-point was gone and I did not hear it leave. I heard the noise behind me again and waited for it to come into view. It was a heavy-antlered buck with a lot of points. I turned back to where the first buck was, and it was standing back where I first saw him, staring at the other buck. They slowly started walking toward each other and met right in front of me, 15 yards away. Six does came into the field about this time, and one ran right between the two bucks. They seemed to not pay any attention to the doe and started a slow circle around the doe about 15 yards from each other. The doe moved out of the circle and they kept moving around with their eyes locked on each other. Both deer were about the same size and I contemplated which one to shoot. After about the third circle I finally decided to shoot the one with more points. After I made a good shot on him, the 16-point ran about 20 yards, stopped to look back and then started a slow trot across the field. The 8- point then followed the buck I shot. The 16-point picked up speed and about 70 yards out put its head down. The antlers hit the ground, and the deer did a complete flip. The 8-point ran up to it and started fighting it on the ground. After watching for five minutes, I crawled down from the stand and the 8-point ran off into the woods. I walked back to the cabin, changed clothes and drove the tractor out to pick up the deer. It was dark by then and as I approached the area, the headlights shone on the 8-point buck hammering on the buck I shot. If only I could have gotten it on film. Thanks, Whitetail Institute.