The author, Brian Martindale, with his 22-point unique buck he arrowed hunting Mecosta Co. on Nov. 1. A buck he targeted and planned for well before archery season opened.

My love for hunting and everything outdoors began way back when I was a young boy. Chasing squirrels and rabbits with my dad through the back woods in N.C. where I was born and raised quickly turned to chasing whitetails during my teenage years. Along with hunting deer I developed a love for archery. Being the only deer hunter in my family I had my work cut out for me learning how to hunt these beautiful animals. Through the years I have had my fair share of ups and downs, close calls and many unsuccessful hunts. Through all of these experiences I was able to gain a lot of knowledge and with knowledge came success.
Fast forward years later I was fortunate enough to meet my hunting partner Jennifer that I’m proud to call my wife. I was able to share my love of archery with her early on in our relationship and with that she gained a love for bow hunting. She’s been a huge part of my success in the woods, tromping through the mud and the muck, hiking miles upon miles through the Michigan woods, freezing our butts off; all in search of these deer. I’ll admit I’ve tested the boundaries of our marriage at times. Early mornings, late nights, prepping gear and spending countless hours in the stands can take a toll on your
This season started like a lot of others, setting trail cameras out in late spring and beginning to monitor the deer in different areas. As late summer approached and the deer started showing up with head gear it became apparent that there was one deer in particular that would get a bit more attention. As my buddy and I were flipping through the pictures, this buck showed up several times on one of the main trails traveling through this Mecosta County property. We started joking about this deer being “Da Turdy Point Buck” like the song. I was so excited to show my wife these pictures when I got home and immediately started putting a game plan together in my head.
As the season quickly approached my wife and I went out and did a final check on all of our gear then October 1 it was off to the woods! The season started off fair seeing deer most sits and progressively got better as the season went on. I was able to lay eyes on this big deer five times throughout the month of October before getting him within bow range on November 1. I played cat and mouse with this deer through the season but to get within 100 yards of this deer seemed nearly impossible. My wife and I had taken the last week of October off to hunt the pre-rut and to try and make a move on this buck. The first part of the week started off with great weather and conditions but quickly deteriorated as the week went on.
After seeing this deer twice that week and having the wind in our favor my wife and I moved in on him Friday afternoon setting up along a large wood lot near some thick cover. She sat in her climber out in the open woods and I chose to sit about 60 yards from her on the edge of the thicket. Around 5:15 that afternoon after seeing some other deer off in the distance this buck showed up and was walking directly at me 70 yards away. With the wind in our favor the deer slowly made his way closer and closer. I ranged a couple trees that I thought he may pass by and as he crossed in front of the second tree at 43 yards I didn’t even get to full draw because he was entering the thicket and I didn’t feel comfortable with the shot because of some small saplings between us. He entered the thicket and I immediately grabbed my grunt call and let out a deep guttural grunt to make him think another mature buck was in his territory. He didn’t take long at all and he was entering the open woods between Jennifer and me. We both watched as this deer made rubs on a couple small trees only 40 yards from her and 20 yards from me but neither one of us had a good shot.
As the deer continued to look around for the buck he thought was in his area he slowly turned towards me. I heard Jennifer hit her grunt call but he kept coming towards me. The buck walked through the
thicket to 10 yards when I came to full draw and he stopped with his body hidden in the cover but his head and neck were exposed.
I sat patiently at full draw and kept praying for two more steps. He
followed the script and gave me
two steps before stopping him dead in his tracks with a blat at 13 yards. I remember getting a solid aim on the vitals and pulling through the shot. Whack! I watched the arrow hit right where I was aiming. I remember watching the deer run about 130 yards before coming to a slow trot and then a slow walk…he stood there for just a moment…watched his tail flicker a few times then his legs became weak before falling down behind some small trees.
The pure excitement and joy cannot be described in words. We sat for the longest hour of my life before getting down and gathering all of our tracking stuff then heading back in. My good friend Rusty was able to join us in the track. After recovering the deer it was such a humbling experience to be able to put my hands on truly the buck of a lifetime. To know that all of the hard work would one day be rewarded with this experience that I could share with my hunting partner Jennifer and my good buddy Rusty is something that I will never take for granted and will forever be grateful that I was given this opportunity!