My season started off in Ohio with lots of deer seen but no shots taken. I could have but my gut told me it wasn't right so I came back to Pa to hit it hard for the rest of our season. Been kinda slow for me this year in the antler department as it took 19 days of hunting before I saw my first Pa. buck with bow in hand.
Well, with the cool winds of November all that changed. Beginning last Friday till yesterday afternoon, I have seen 9 different bucks cruising for does. This morning, since the winds laid down, I headed to a ridge top stand tht sits in a saddle. This stand has been good to me as the last two archery bucks came from this exact stand. When the sun rose this morning, the action started.
Shortly after I saw the sun begin to blind me from the east, I saw a buck down low on a steady course. No amount of grunting or light rattling could change his mind and he continued out of sight. He looked to be a 8 point with main beams almost touching when he looked my way.
About 30 minutes later, the steady footfalls of a deer approaching caught my attention from behind. Trying to get turned around with my camera gear took some time and the buck was even with me at what I remember being about 45 yards. As he continued walking I frantically searched for a lane trying to size him up and get the camera rolling. It was quite the dance and when I banged the camera arm against the stand I thought it was all over. Thankfully, the rut had this buck with his guard down and he kept on going after giving me a brief stare.
Deciding that he looked to be a shooter, I stopped him in the only opening left, held high lungs with my 40 yard dot sqeezed the secondary safety on the TenPoint Carbon Elite and let one fly. Through the scope, the Lumenok streaked and I was surprised to see it disappear right in the crease. A perfect shot, but as long a shot as I have ever taken in a hunting situation. The practice was worth it.
At the shot the buck, kicked his hind legs and ran another 40 yards to stop and look back. It was then that I saw his hind end start to sag and after another 20 yard semi circle, it was over.
I followed the whole thing in my camera and when the buck crashed, a pit entered my stomach. A quick glance at the viewscreen confirmed I never hit the record button. I was sick but happy at the same time. After carrying around camera equipment all season, to not have recorded this was not a good feeling. After beating myself up I realized that I had just killed a Pa archery buck and that fact brought my spirits buck up. Sometimes we forget what is important and I was very happy to have one on the ground.
While climbing down, a spike walked past oblivious to my presence. The Easton FMJ passed right through and the Lumenok made finding it easy.
Blood trailing wasn't necessary but it is always good to see red on the leaves.
He was piled up right where I last saw the multiflora rose rustling.
And the hero shot. He is a nice 2.5 y/o 8 point and pretty typical for what Washington County turns out. I saw bigger over the past few days and I have seen alot smaller too. I was happy to put the tag in this ones ear. While I was dressing him out the steady footfalls of another deer approached and a buck bigger than this guy walked right up to me at gave me a stare from fifteen yards. It is that time of the year. Get out there guys and girls. It can happen at any moment.