The weekend started off early for my Dad as he made the trip back up to Ohio Thursday evening. I wasn’t able to get away from work on Friday to hunt with him, but he headed back to the park property we had success at earlier in the month and made the best of it as he was able to put down deer #4 for the year around 5:30 that evening. He met back at my house around 8:30PM and we headed to the processor to drop the doe off to donate.
After dropping the doe off at the processor we started our 30 min drive back to the house. We made it no further than 2 miles down the road when I caught a glimpse of a deer jumping a fence as we made the turn at a stop sign. My dad immediately stopped the truck, put it in reverse, and turned to get his headlights on the field the deer had entered. The headlights hit the deer and we both yelled “HOLY COW!” A big 10 point, easily scoring in the Boone & Crockett record books, made his way off into the brush never to be seen again. I looked back at my Dad after the buck disappeared and said “that’s an omen…I’m killing a big buck tomorrow.”
I’ve had my eyes on a few big deer on the property I hunt, and with the rut wearing down here in Ohio I figured they would be out cruising to find that last doe to breed. After getting all of my gear ready for the mornings hunt, I set the alarm for 5:00AM and headed to bed.
The alarm went off and I popped up to take a quick shower with Carbon Synergy scent free soap. My Dad had left shortly before to head to the park property and I gathered my gear and loaded up the truck. The weather looked pretty favorable with a temp of 25 degrees in the early morning and a high of 55 later in the day. With a slight breeze out of the northwest I knew exactly where I was going to set up when I arrived.
As I made my way through the thick honeysuckle undergrowth, I arrived at a tree straight enough to use my climber on, and with enough background cover to keep me concealed. I climbed to about 25 feet, started setting up all of my gear, and about the time I got the arm of my Muddy camera arm into the base I heard steps heading my way behind the tree. I slowly peaked around the tree to see the outline of a deer standing only 20 yards away. It knew something was up as it looked in my general direction, but didn’t spook off. About that time, I hear more steps coming from the opposite direction (towards the front of my stand). I slowly turned to make out an outline of a big bodied deer following the trail I had walked not 20 minutes earlier. I had a feeling it was a good buck so I grabbed my bow off of the bow hanger and turned to get ready. He turned my direction slightly quartering to me when I saw the tine length and width. No question now, he was a shooter!
He had closed to 25 yards, and was coming closer when I drew back. I knew there was a branch blocking my shot in his direction so I waited at full draw for a few seconds more as he hit an opening just 11 yards away. It happened so fast and all I could remember was the green Firenock zipping through the air before the buck took off to my left and disappeared in the honeysuckle roughly 30 yards away. As I replayed the shot in my mind, I kept telling myself the shot was a little back so I decided to give him some time. I got on my phone and texted my Dad to let him know I “just hit a BIG buck…”
I waited about 30 minutes and pulled up the binoculars to see if I could see blood where he was standing, and sure enough there was a good trail the whole way until where I had lost sight of him. I decided to wait it out another hour and a half just to be certain, and ended up having another shooter come in behind me about 20 yards away.
Around 9:15AM I climbed down, grabbed my bow and GoPro cameras and started on the blood trail. It was steady blood and very easy to follow. I made it about 80 yards when I look up and see a white belly…then his rack! My mouth dropped when I finally realized just how big he was. To say I was excited was an understatement. I got on the phone and this time called my Dad to let him know I had found him. It was around 12:30PM by the time I had finished dragging him out of the woods, taking pictures, etc. and met my Dad to show him the buck.
I am still in complete shock about killing this buck. He’s the biggest buck I’ve killed by far and to be able to do it with archery equipment makes it that much better. I had passed on about 20 different bucks so far this year and the patience had finally paid off.
The only thing that went wrong this weekend was not being able to get my camera gear completely setup before he came in; This resulted in not getting the shot on film. Things don’t always go as planned when trying to be SELFILMED and this is a perfect example.