After a long time coming, I finally shot my first buck on the evening of 10/10/15. I have been doing some form of hunting for the last 19 years. I will admit that when I was younger baseball took up most of my time until after college, so I have just in the last few years devoted much time to hunting. I have taken doe with my rifle, compound, and crossbow, but taking a buck always seemed to elude me. In my area of central Pa, I do not see many legal bucks once the season seems to roll around for whatever reason. Last year I had my first archery shot at a buck, and I missed a buck with my compound when the lower cam hit my leg, when I took a shot sitting down. So this year, I decided, I was going to take my crossbow at the beginning of the season.
The 6 pt. buck I took showed up around 5:10 on that Saturday evening. I had been getting pics of him for the past week in the late afternoon and early evening near my stand. I planted Whitetail Pure Attraction in August that, I believe he had found earlier in the week. He came in from behind me and was walking through some tree tops that were from the timbering that had been done earlier in the summer. I didn’t immediately stand up, because I was thinking maybe he would end up coming to my right and I could get a shot sitting down, but he ended up turning and going behind me. As he was making his way behind me, I said a quick prayer asking to help me make a good shot, if the opportunity came.
When he went behind me about 40 yards or so, I used the tree, I was in, to try and block my movement and slowly stood up. I had already grabbed my Ten Point Stealth XLT off of the hanger. I turned to the left, but lost the buck in the brush and thick saplings behind me. It wasn’t long that he began moving again and was headed to the left of me. I had two shooting lanes that I felt I could get a good clear shot. I watched him in the range finder the first time, to make sure he was legal with 3 points to a side, but forgot to range him while doing so. I knew he was close to 20 yards, but hit him again with my Nikon and he was at 20.8 yards. He was walking so I quietly mouth bleated, but he kept walking and began entering the last real clear shooting lane. I mouth bleated a second time, and he stopped almost perfectly broadside. I anchored the Steady Eddy and send Pro Elite arrow tipped with a NAP Killzone Crossbow head into him. On impact, he ran about 20 yards and stopped. He was standing still, and I followed him in my Leupold Crossbones scope, and could see his tail was tucked. He went to take a step and began to stumble. Upon trying to take his second step, his legs gave out and he went down.
He ended up around 20 from where I shot him, and about 40-50 yards from my stand. To say that I was pumped and thankful was an understatement. The last probably 7 years, I put a lot of hours in the stand looking for a buck, and to finally take one was such a relief. I was also thankful to take this guy while hunting with my father, who has been my hunting partner since I was 12. I will say it will be quite a different rifle season. For the first time in my life, I will not have a valid tag to use during the first week of Pa rifle season, but I would be lying if I said, I wasn't pretty happy about that.