This has been by far my most productive archery season. That is largely because of my dedication, or lack of dedication in years past. I had never really concentrated on archery hunting until last season and have just really taken to it ever since. Last year I harvested my first deer with the crossbow. This season, I set up three stands and put in many more hours scouting and hunting, determined to harvest my first buck. I took a doe early this season and did not get any post worthy pics of it, I wanted to make sure I got pictures of my first buck. This season, I had been seeing plenty of deer and passed on several buck but none of the "shooters" came within range. I had predetermined at the start of the season that I was going to hold out for a big buck until 10/29 as the area I was hunting had several monsters roaming but at that point I would take the next quality shot opportunity at a legal buck.
I got dropped off at my stand yesterday afternoon and just had a good feeling about the evening hunt. Within minutes of settling in I spotted two deer over my right shoulder. From then on I saw pretty consistent doe activity. About 5:40 I spotted movement about 125 yards off in the brush. I looked through the binoculars and could see that it was a good buck. I dropped the glass and picked up the grunt tube and grunted 3 or 4 times. He disappeared into the brush and about 30 seconds later I hear movement on the edge of the brush about 50 yards away. The buck emerged and moved left to right across the edge of the brush and got to within 45 yards before moving away and heading back into the brush at 60 yards. When he entered I hit the grunt tube two more times and he jumped around and started scanning for the culprit. He started walking directly towards the stand and turned broadside at what I ranged at 26 yards. I put the crosshairs just behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger while concentrating on watching the fletching bury in his chest. On the shot he took off like a rocket. He ran 35 yards and stopped. I watched as his back legs wobbled and he crashed over. It was by far my most exciting experience while hunting.
Like I said this has been my best season. I have called in three different buck after never calling one in before. I spent 1 full day, 5 morning sits and 6 afternoon sits with only 1 sit with no sightings. Total sightings of 113 deer and 13 different buck. I may get out to harvest another doe, but most of my hunting now will be with the camera. I must also thank arrowhead. I never knew how accurate a crossbow could/should be until he hooked me up with a Hawke scope, victory bolts and G5 strikers. They have all performed well three times now.
8 point with 15" outside spread. Taken with Parker Tornado, Hawke Scope, Victory Bolts, G5 Strikers at 5:45 on 11/1/2011