By Alex Comstock
This past weekend, I headed back to North Dakota for the first time since moving to give another go at hunting Kobe. I had high hopes going into the weekend, with temps plummeting down into the teens for lows, highs in the 30's, and snow in the forecast. Here's how my hunts went.
Friday: The morning of the 27th, I slipped into a pinch point between two bedding areas and did a hang and hunt. I actually had made a mock scrape here a few weeks ago before moving as well, and had the area pegged as a potential spot for Kobe to be cruising through in the morning.
As the sun rose, I was welcomed with the sight of snow on the ground for the first time this season. Right off the bat, I had a few does move through, but then it quieted down for the next couple of hours. Later in the morning, I rattled in a spike, and saw a few more does. After the morning hunt, I pulled my set and checked the trail camera over the mock scrape to find a number of mature bucks had been using it, Kobe included.
For the evening hunt, I decided to hunt near where I had originally thought Kobe to be bedding earlier in the season. The night presented perfect conditions, with frigid temperatures yet again, and a stiff North wind. The night came and went only seeing does which was frustrating, but my hopes changed a bit after checking a trail camera that I had over a scrape twenty yards in front of the stand that night.
Looking through the SD card Friday night gave me the shakes. Kobe had hit the scrape two days prior in daylight not once, but TWICE. He worked it on his way to bed in the morning around 8:30am and again that evening at 5:30pm. I couldn't believe it. I knew I was close, and that it was only a matter of time until he would show in daylight again there. The only problem was that I could only sit Saturday evening, and then it was back to Minnesota.
Saturday: Saturday evening once again brought cold temperatures. My anticipation was at an all time high, now knowing that Kobe had just visited the area in daylight two days prior. With every flicker of a deer tail, and breaking of branch, my heart skipped a beat in sheer hope that Kobe was the next deer I was about to see. But once again, the old smart buck outwitted me, and didn't show. I did however have a spike come in to the scrape and work it for about ten minutes giving me a little excitement. As the sun set Saturday night, I couldn't help but wonder where Kobe was at that exact moment.
Conclusion: Hunting this buck for the past couple years has proved frustrating, but it has been a great challenge. The next time I'll be in North Dakota will be in a couple weeks to hunt during the rut. I'm still not sure how many days of hunting I'll get, but I'll be sure to maximize every sit that I can. Until then, Kobe will be on my mind daily.