Here's the scenario:
Big bug, spotted twice from 65 yards out in stand taking same path. (two days in a row) ~ 8:15 am, and then at 7:15 am following day.
Setup a second stand closer to travel route.
Wind seemed to be ok, (but swirly - so could be the issue here).
Cover seemed goodl
6'th sense - who knows?
Several days later, heard buck coming down the hill on same path.
I was swung around tree, waiting to see deer for shot, very little movement. (I hunt out of a trophyline harness)
Deer must have been at about 40 yards through some cover, heading downhill in the AM.
Never got a chance to see the deer. (Don't believe he saw me either.)
Nevertheless, I got the famous "blow" instead. Took off and heard another 3 blows at about 100 yards. (still not downwind, except for possible swirling and rising currents.)
Haven't heard or seen the deer since. (in 3 other AM hunts.)
I have seen a loner doe twice. (same one @ 7:15 am, and 10:00 am later the same day.)
Busted for good?
Deer just not on same travel route?
Headed into the void and feeding much earlier?
Should I float around trying to intercept him in an alternate nearby position (in the afternoon) hoping to catch him headed back up to feeding area in the afternoon? (And leave the stand for a while?) ~ Or just stay away for a week or so? ~ Or hunt it in the afternoon. (I'm leery about PM hunts here because of abruptly bumping/scaring the deer as I leave at dark. I usually get to stand in the AM while it's still pitch black. I haven't bumped any deer in the AM yet either to my knowledge, because I'm taking the long way in, and going around their feeding area.
Want a crack at him before Muzzleloader season opens in another few weeks. The area is hit hard then.
This is a big deer. Probably "the dominant one" in the area.
I'm hunting the outskirts of a feeding area, and was presumably catching him on his way back to a low bedding area.
I'm pretty sure there was a bear and cub hanging around the following day that I was winded. (While walking in I spooked a a cub into a tree and the mommy bear took off. ~ I heard a big bodied animal unexpectedly take off. After which, in a tree at the same location, I saw thes two eyes looking down at me. Every time I advanced past the spot, I kept hearing th scratching sound as it kept going higher. Every time I glanced in that direction, I saw the eyes reflecting back down at my green headlamp.)