I would like to thank my dad for teaching me how to hunt as he started me out when I was really little by taking me bowhunting with him. He would tell me to be still, quiet and let him know if I saw a deer. Of course I pointed out every little animal I saw. Also thanks to my husband for putting up my tree stands, cutting shooting lanes and helping me drag my deer out. On to this magnificent hunt.
We have watched this unique racked deer for two years on trail cam photos and in our farm fields during the summer. Last year I rode my horse within thirty yards of this big buck and we looked each other in the eye and he ran into the woods. That encounter was so cool.
Last year the neighbor took a shot on this stud-buck with very little penetration to the front shoulder. Our other neighbors saw him a couple times chasing does after that so we knew he was still around. No one ever got a shot at him that year, so we were hoping to at least get pictures of him this year and we did. Last year he was a thirteen point, this year he is a fourteen point with one extra point that measures a half inch.
The week prior to me shooting this deer a neighbor shot him high above the shoulder just under the vertebra and stuck in his shoulder on the other side with no vitals being hit.
On October 21 I headed to the woods knowing there were a lot of nice bucks around. I’m not a big fan of climbing in tree stands so I decided to hunt on the ground that night. I picked a spot out close to where I know they travel and got set up with my back up to some brush. The wind was coming out of the southwest so I wasn’t concerned of anything coming up behind me. I had some brush in front of me to cover any movement I would have to make. I didn’t have a lot of shot lanes but knew this was a good spot.
I spend a lot of time in the woods between mushrooming and hunting and I’m also a very avid trapper. I pay close attention to animal movement. I had been sitting about an hour when I heard rustling of the leaves. I looked over about twenty yards and saw long tines moving in the bushes. I saw he had eight to ten inch tines and was at least sixteen inches wide. I decided he was a shooter. He milled around for a few seconds and he walked away from me. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and texted my husband telling him I just had a shooter go by.
I put the phone in my pocket and sat watching when all of a sudden I heard the rustling going on again. All I could see was his head and part of his neck. He started to head to me and I would pick the bow up waiting for him to walk into an opening. The deer would just stand there eating leaves and looking my direction. He put his head down and I had to put the bow down, my arm was getting tired. He headed toward an opening and I would pick my bow back up just for him to fall short of walking into that opening. This happened three times, my arm was cramping up from holding the bow so I kept putting it down.
All of a sudden something made a screech in the woods and it got his attention. He headed for the sound. I picked my bow up and he stopped once again with his face and his vitals behind the shrub brush. I had to make a move and make two steps to get an opening so when he took the next step I could get a shot on him. He was only twenty yards from me this entire time. He stood there for about a minute when he decided to spin and go back where he had been. I picked an opening ahead of him and in my mind said, “As soon as I see him walk through it, this is it, I gotta do it.”
He walked through the opening I picked and I released the arrow and heard the thwack of the arrow go through his body and with the help of light nocks, saw it come out the other side and fly another twenty to thirty feet. Lighted nocks are the bomb!
The deer took two bounds, made a loop and headed into the woods were I could not see him anymore. I texted my husband and said, “I got him.” He texted me back, “Find blood and grab your arrow before it gets dark.” There was instant blood and out both sides.
hered my stuff up and headed to the ranger to go home, fixed dinner and waited an hour and a half before returning for our search.
We tracked him for about seventy five yards with good blood, but the blood soon ended. I told my husband to call our friend to bring his dog to help. Brad said it would take him about twenty minutes to get there so we kept looking and found blood again.
I took about fifteen steps from were I was when we called our friend and said, “There he is!”
My husband said, “Where?”
I said, “Right there,” and walked over grabbed his antlers and said, “It’s a big one!”
My husband said, “Yeah it’s the fifteen point!”
I had to grab him again because I didn’t believe it and I started to shake all over again. If I was going to have a heart attack it would have been that day. What a rush and what a hunt! This is only my second buck with a bow and they were both taken on the ground.