Today was the third day of archery deer season in Indiana. After working a 9-hour day, I headed for the woods at 4:30 PM. I was back into the woods and in a tree by a little after 5:00. The property I was hunting was timbered at some time in the past, and is all grown up, with scattered, decaying treetops. I had a south wind, so I chose a tree 20 yards north of where I expected deer. Exactly as planned, I had two does and a fawn come in at 6:00 right to the spot 20 yards away, but the were right behind a low line of paw-paw trees, and although I could see their heads and necks clearly, I couldn't get more than a glimpse of vitals.
At 7:00, I saw two more does cross the hillside above me at around 50 yards. I could hear them coming from their beds behind distant houses. At 7:30, I decided to go ahead and get down and out of there before spooking anything, even though I had about 15 more minutes of legal shooting light left. I lowered my bow to the ground, then worked my climber down the tree. I unhooked both sections from the tree, and was attempting to use a bungee cord to secure the two halves together as quietly as possible. Even then, they were rattling together slightly.
Suddenly, I heard a commotion up in a tangle above a fallen treetop to the north, which was downwind of me. I had Scent-Lok clothing on, but had already removed my gloves and headnet. Not to mention the latest claims that Scent-Lok might be a fraud. At first I thought it might be a buck, as it was crashing towards me, and sounded like saplings being thrashed. I thought to myself, "Heck, that can't be a deer with all this racket I'm making, not to mention it's downwind of me." As it closed the distance, I thought in the dimming light that it might be a trespassing hunter trying to exit the woods without a flashlight. In fact, I was almost positive that was what it was.
As I was bent over to finish securing the stand halves (with my butt towards the sound), a buck came crashing out of the tangle right at me. This is no joke -- I was looking at it through my legs while I was bent over. It was either a big 6-pointer, or an average 8-pointer. It was slightly less than 20 yards away, and looking right at me. I had some low-height browse around me, so it concealed me slightly. I hadn't had any trouble with mosquitos all evening, and all of the sudden they were buzzing my head and landing on my hands and forehead. As they bit painfully, I didn't dare move to swat them, as I didn't want to spook the buck away.
He kept circling around me, glancing both at me and away from me. Then he closed the distance to about 10 yards. All the while, I'm bent over, with him now to my left. Everytime he looked away, I moved my head around more to keep an eye on him. It's almost dark by now, and I can make out his body, but not his rack, as he walks away from me. When I can no longer hear him, I stand up, and scratch the hell out of my forehead and hands. Then the buck blows at me from about 50 yards, and stares my way. He then starts to walk my way again, so I fished my grunt tube out of my pocket, and gave a deep, mature buck grunt. I figure if he thinks I'm a buck, I'll give him a bruiser of a buck. At the grunts, he turns and walks quickly up the hill.
I wasn't ever in fear of him attacking me, but I was sure suprised that he charged right up to me unafraid. Give him another couple of years to grow, and I'll nail him.
EDIT: Oh yeah, I did NOT have any kind of scents on me (deer urine, cover scent, etc.).