There’s a certain stand I’ve been wanting to go to but haven’t hunted it yet this year because of wrong wind or being too muddy to easily get back there. I harvested a young doe there last year and have always had good luck with seeing both bucks and does in this area. I have yet to even fill a doe tag so far (which usually I’d have filled quite awhile ago!) as well as my buck tag so I wanted to go here so I can take a shot at either if an opportunity is presented. However, in the past this area started getting bad with dogs running wildly and chasing deer so I kind of pulled away from it last year. It’s a shame when people out in the country think their dogs can run loose. I hope to find no dogs this year!
I enter the woods not knowing exactly where I am going… ha ha! because the guys moved the stand just recently on a day I wasn’t around to help but I know it’s not too far from the original placement so even if I have troubles I’ll eventually find it! I think I have a great wind for this, but again, I’m not sure exactly where the stand is anymore. It’s warm and the leaves are so loud so I take my time entering the woods, moving slow and pausing like a deer would sound. I spot the stand – really like where they placed it. I’ve had lots of deer in that spot and not been able to get a shot – very nice! And this wind is PERFECT for it – blowing any scent right off the hill!
Once I get in the stand and have my bow ready, I start to unpack my other stuff and see a deer’s back just over a little hill in front of me. I throw on my hat and neck gator to cover up and can’t catch what it is and lose where it went. Dang it.
Around 4:45 p.m., three does run out in the distance and I wonder what spooked them. I don’t see a buck anywhere. Then just five minutes later, four does walk out and 20 yards broadside by where the old tree stand was… dang, again! And as they continue, I know they are going to swing too far out from the new stand. I watch them go by and onto the next hill. Then, a buck steps out – I have no idea where he came from but he looks big! I’m trying to catch sight of him in my binoculars but he takes off chasing the does on top of the next hill. I grunted to him several times and I know he heard me, but didn’t care to leave the does. I catch a few glimpses of him, and know he looks so impressive but don’t know how good he is for sure. I saw he had shorter brows, but some bucks are mature and just never get big brows – he looked wide and tall though. I didn’t get the chance to check his body. I think he’s a big eight. Then a small buck follows through to trail behind and they all disappear over the hill. My husband worked today and wanted updates so I text him that a big buck is chasing does around and I just have to hope they run by my way! Either way, I had the feeling I would see the buck again!
After not too long, I hear them coming and look behind to see the small buck chasing three does back – they seriously circle and change directions around my actual tree. I thought, “what if I take one of the does…?” but with that other buck in the area, I wasn’t going to. Then I laughed to myself that the wrong buck chased them to me! I was going to text that to Matt when I reached down to my pocket and as soon as I touched my phone, I heard a crash and got ready. Here he comes behind a doe, and he’s FLYING directly at me! I reacted to reach for my binoculars to make sure he was indeed a shooter, but there was no time – it was either judge him and that’s all you will be doing, or take the shot. I knew he looked so dang impressive and I didn’t see any broken tines (something I put high up on my list this year), so I decided to seize the moment!
He ran nearly right under me and I’m going “maht”, get louder “Maht.” now yelling, “MAHT!” I didn’t think he’d stop but I pulled back anyways in case he did because I’d have to be already by then. Amazingly, he stopped perfectly – in front of my 20 yard “marker” and quartering away. Wow! I saw some twigs and eyed them… they were over his face and neck but the shot was clear. I thought, “I can do that.” I put the pin on him and squeezed off the shot like it was nothing. That is SO uncharacteristic of me and thinking back I can’t believe I was SO CALM! Oh my gosh! Ha ha! I’m NEVER calm when shooting a deer! I guess he ran in so fast I didn’t have time to get nervous, and honestly, I didn’t think I’d have an opportunity with him running in like that!
I see the arrow enter perfectly at the angle and I know I just smoked him! He runs just a little ways and stops, stretches out and falls over about 40 yards away… WOW! Fist pumps in the air!!!!
I wanted to stay put and double with a doe since deer were running all over and it being only 5:15 p.m., I believed I had a good chance of getting the opportunity (even after I got out of the stand, does, that small buck and a nice, young 8-point were still running around everywhere!). However, I’m on vacation right now but it’s a work day tomorrow for the rest of my family so we need to get the show on the road with the work ahead of us!
While waiting for everyone to arrive, I climb down and walk to my buck – so excited! Surprise – he’s a 9! He ended up being not quite what I was going for this year – he still had growth ahead of him and wasn’t fully matured – and if I had time to glass him I think I would have talked myself out of it, but ya know, I’m really glad I didn’t. This is a great buck for me, and I’m so proud of him, this amazing hunt and especially my shot! What a GREAT FEELING! I will remember it forever.
His blood trail was very short, but checking it out – it’s amazing! And I find my blood-soaked arrow… pass through and arrow not even broken… something I usually don’t get on a buck!!! I’ve worked the last couple years to increase my poundage little by little and this summer got it comfortably to 50 pounds for the first time. I also researched into arrows and decided to go with a lighter arrow, but with more spine that made it the same weight as the ones I was originally shooting. I really think my broadhead flight has improved a lot this year. It’s great to have taken the time to do things like that and find they pay off for you!
Here’s a video showing the tree stand, where the shot was, the awesome blood trail (hopefully the blood shows up okay in the video) and my buck at the end of it! 🙂
Stats: 9 points, 134 inches, 238 pounds
Total stand time so far: 66.5 hours. I’m still not done! I have that doe tag to fill!!! 🙂