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It was mid September of 1997 and I was out one evening scouting for the upcoming archery season. I climbed a hill that had a nice bench on it where some huge white oaks and some wild apple trees grew. After checking the area for deer sign, I sat down at the base of one of the ancient oaks to watch for deer. I hadn't been sitting there long when I noticed movement in the brush above me. Looking through my binoculars the first thing I saw was a nice looking rack sticking up above the thick vegetation. Something looked odd about the rack and after getting a better look I saw that the G-2 on the one side was forked like a mule deer antler. After browsing for awhile, the buck laid down right there. I could barely make him out through the brush, but I was sure if I moved he would see me. Waiting till it was almost too dark to see, I quietly slipped back down the hill, confident that I hadn't spooked him. On my way back to the car I decided to call the buck "Mulie", it seemed pretty fitting.

A few days later at lunchtime I returned and set up a stand slightly above the bench on the same level that the buck had come across the hill. Wanting to get in and out very quickly for fear of spooking him, I wasted no time in picking a tree and putting the stand up. I wouldn't be coming back to these woods till the archery opener in a couple of weeks. I'd never placed a stand for one particular buck before and had no idea how it would pan out.

The opener turned out to be a hot and humid day with temperatures going up into the eighties. I hunted a different spot in the morning without seeing much. When I came home for lunch, I questioned whether or not to head out for the evening due to the heat. It didn't take long to decide to hunt, so I took another shower and headed out to my stand in the early afternoon. I was in my treestand by two o'clock and the heat was almost unbearable. I figured I had a long wait till I would see any deer movement, but I wanted to be sure I didn't spook the buck. The wind was perfect.

Surprisingly, I was entertained by two fawns that came through a couple times throughout the afternoon. I never saw the mother so I assumed they were on their own. They'd go past in one direction, then come back through a little while later. They did this a few times and it made the long wait for evening to set in go a little faster. When the sun was finally starting to drop below the opposite hill they came through one more time about fifteen yards below me. They didn't come back through this time and I figured they finally headed out into the nearby alfalfa field.

As the shadows were starting to grow long, I caught movement below me again. Coming along the same trail the two fawns had passed on was a buck. As he got closer I realized that it was Mulie! It seemed almost too good to be true. He made his way towards me, stopping now and then to browse. When he got directly below me he stopped in an opening to groom himself. I raised my bow and put his vitals right between my ten and twenty yard pins. Upon release I knew it was a perfect shot. He took off then stopped about twenty five yards away, wobbled a few times, then went down!

I'd been pretty calm throughout the shot process but when he went down the shakes set in. I kept watching for him to move but it never happened. It took close to half an hour before I felt like I was calm enough to climb down out of the tree. Walking up to him I felt a real sense of satisfaction that I had taken the buck I'd set out for. It was still somewhat hard to believe what had just taken place. I was on cloud nine.

To this day I still consider that to be the best bow shot I ever made. You can't beat it when a deer drops within sight of your treestand. I took some ribbing from my brothers and friends that my season was over on the first day, but I didn't care. I had accomplished what I'd set out to do and I couldn't be happier.

 

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Cool story. Thanks, and Waidmannsheil
 

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I loved the story man! I felt like I was right there. Your hunting stories are something I always look forward to! Congrats on a great buck and looking forward to the next one!
 

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Cool story and a good personal trophy. I have taken a bear and a deer that dropped in site. The bear went 30 yrds and the deer maybe 50. Sometimes the heart sinks when they get out of site..but oh what a reward when you walk up on them.
 
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