That day being Wednesday, October 26th, 2016...
But before we get into that, How about a little bit of a back story leading up to that day? Monday (the 24th) I found myself in the tree talking to my dad (buckthumper) who was at work that day. The morning was slow, producing very little deer movement, I had texted dad to let him know that I would be stopping by work to pick up the keys to the locks that we have on all of our hang on stands when in the woods. I went and picked up the keys and made a quick trip home to pick up some of the other things I was going to need for the adventure I was about to embark on. I was headed to another farm to move a double set consisting of a 16' ladder stand and a hang on stand that was used as the "camera stand" This stand was in a location that had already proven itself last year producing a kill and another unsuccessful opportunity at a few does. The reason for this move was not one of lack of sign or opportunity but that of a down tree opening up the sky behind the set making our cover very minimal for that particular tree. To make this picture a little more clear for all of you, this set is tucked in off of a clover field edge by about 10 yards. Due to the now apparent lack of cover I made the decision to move them both for that evenings sit. I found myself walking back the field edge by about 11 that morning, scouted the rest of the field edge the entire way around finding multiple active scrapes and fresh rubs throughout. I found a tree about 150 yards back the field edges that was between multiple scraps with trails surrounding the tree. I pulled and rehung both stands on my own and was out of the woods around 1 pm. This left me just enough time to get home grab a scent away shower, get dressed, and meet dad back our newly found location for the evening sit.
I met up with dad the night of the 24th at about 330 pm expecting to be in the tree alone, instead he had made the decision to film for me that night. I myself after seeing what I had saw earlier that day was very excited to get right back in there for the evening hunt. Not to mention I was quite proud of myself for what I had done. :grin: We were in the tree by 4, and to our surprise did not see a single deer that night.
Now, Tuesday the 25th, as a full time college student, I found myself day dreaming of big bucks while in class from 830am-7pm anxiously awaiting wake-up the next morning. :hotbounce2: ....FINALLY! Wake up time, I found myself in a different spot on the morning of the 26th which lead to once again an uneventful morning.
The evening of the 26th, get your popcorn ready!
I found myself up and in on a cold, windy, rainy evening, war paint on, camera set up, arrow nocked in the stand that I had been thinking about since the minute I had hung it two days prior... were ready to rock.
I was alone that night, trying to self film, dad showed up late after getting my younger brother from school and was in a stand just across the road. Was a slow start to the evening when I found myself texting back and forth with dad about just wanting to see a shooter, let alone a big one. His response as always, "You put your time in, you put in the effort, blah blah blah, it could happen in a matter of minutes". I have heard this speech a million times and I know it is true but due to the frustration of seeing nothing but scrubs up to this point I began to doubt that "the best part is yet to come" like he always says...
At about 6 o'clock over my left shoulder I began to hear the leaves crunching, I peak over my shoulder to see a small 5-pt headed straight for the tree, 30 yards and closing fast. The young buck walks right under the tree, stopping at the base of my ladder actually sniffing the ladder and looking straight up between my feet at me. To my amazement he turned and walked right out into the clover and began to feed. **Talk about a sigh of relief** By this time I had the camera rolling and had some great footage of the youngster. I remember taking a snap chat of the small buck while at about 12 yards captioned "Where is your dad at?"
A few minutes went by and the young buck throws his head back over his right shoulder looking into the field, naturally I looked too, "oh my god, big buck" were my words exactly as I laid eyes on one of the biggest bucks I have ever seen while in the tree. There he is skylined looking down at the smaller buck who is just feeding directly in front of me. I remember saying to myself "come down and push him around, come down and push him around". Sure enough, he breaks and starts down through the field on me. Mind you, I am still sitting down without my bow! I reached to my left grabbed the bow, and as I went to stand up to my left here comes another buck! A 7-pt with some pretty cool character. He walks right under me at 5 yards and walks into the field on the same trail that the 5 point had used just minutes before.
As the 7-pt enters the field, ears pinned back, stiff legged, walking sideways, I finally get to my feet, the big buck is now with in 25 yards and closing. The 7-pt goes after the 5-pt and pushes him off to my left. The big buck which I believed to be a big 10 is now standing right behind a small group of trees directly infront of me. The 7-pt then turns and walks right up to the clearly bigger buck rubs his rack on his neck, they tickle their horns together for a bit until the smallest buck starts back over. Right on que, the 7pts ears go back, he starts to my left walking right through my lane pushing the 5-pt off, the big buck turns and fallows right in his footsteps!!! :nevreness:
Heart is about to pound out of my chest at this point, beating so hard I was almost scared that they would hear it.... there he is, 15 yards, perfectly broadside. I draw....aim....grunt.... He stops ....touch it off.... CRASH CRASH CRASH, down through the woods he goes on a dead sprint and then......scilence.
The shot? Looked a bit high...
The arrow? Stuck in the ground...
Me? An absolute nutcase, shaking so bad that the stand was rattling...
I hung my bow up, sat down, and then thought, the footage! I went back to review the hit just to discover that when I went to zoom out from the small 5-pt to get the camera on the bigger buck I had accidentally bumped the record button.... :numbness::nonchalance:
I called dad:
ME: Dude! I just hit a pig!
DAD: You just shot a big buck?!
ME: Yes! Hes a pig!
DAD: Okay, Ill meet you at the car!
ME: I cant get down yet, Im shaking like a leaf right now!
DAD: Okay well take your time and ill see you at the car.
If you find the time to watch the video, you can make the decision as to who was more excited. I finally get my things together and get down, check the arrow and it is covered from tip to tip in blood with what looks like a few air bubbles towards the nock end of the arrow... walked out met up with dad lost some layers and headed back in. (I have lost a deer due to a high hit before, so I would be lying if I said I wasnt a little bit worried about my shot) We looked for blood at the area of impact to find a few spots, other than that we found one drop of blood about 15 yards into the woods before spreading out looking for a body.
Just a few minutes, which felt like a life time went by, just long enough for the thought of "we are gonna have to leave this deer go" to go through my head, dad says, "Hey dude! I got a dead buck laying right here, and you were't kidding, he is a freakin pig!"
I tore up through the woods like I was shot out of a cannon, overwhelmed with excitement. Got hugs and high fives from my just as excited hunting partner before coming back down to earth as I finally got my hands on that "big" one I had been waiting for!
All in all the buck turned out to be a big 9-pt, grossing at 121 6/8 and netting at 116 6/8. I cannot thank my dad enough for everything he has done to turn me into the young (yet experienced) hunter that I am today. He has straightened my learning curve tremendously compared to what he had to learn in is day but more importantly a big thank you to the man upstairs for the opportunity to live the life I live and the chance to take this buck of a lifetime!
Be sure to check this video out on Youtube @ Grip n Grin Outdoors