Last year I was getting down from a stand to head to another stand I call the creek stand. While I was moving I received a text from my Mom telling me to call her immediately. When I was in a spot far away from my stands I called her. She told me I might want to consider coming home soon because my Papa was not doing well. He had been battling Alzheimer’s for the past 3 years and she thought this might be his last days. I ended up cutting my hunting trip short and headed home immediately.
Fast-forward exactly a year to the date, November 5th. I was back in my creek stand. I had yet to sit in it. I did not know what to expect. This spot is a hot spot for does and I usually have no problem getting them within bow range. I was ready to put a Ramcat through the rib cage of one. This spot was known to have the deer move late in the morning and be a great mid-day spot. I had seen some bucks in the past from this spot but did not expect what was going to happen.
The sun came up and I waited. At 8:30 I hear rustling and saw a deer coming my way. I thought it was a doe so I prepared my camera. Then I saw the antlers. At first I thought it was a small basket rack buck. Then he got closer and I seen his antlers were past his ears. I knew I wanted this buck.
As he came from my left, he was walking down a trail that was 4 yards from the base of my tree. He was at 30 yards. My heart started racing. I aimed the camera for the trail, hoping to get the shot on camera. Then he started zig zagging back and fourth and I kept moving the camera. At a point, I thought he was going to walk a way from me. He finally came into 16 yards behind a tree. I pulled my bow back and he kept walking. I put my pin behind his shoulder and let her fly. I seen the arrow entered and I knew I was a little back but I felt good about the shot.
The buck ran off 150 yards and stopped. He looked around but didn’t act hurt. He then took a stagger to the right. Then slowly walked a way looking unhardmed. Then I started second guessing myself on everything I just did. Did I make a good shot? I decided to give the buck and hour and wait. Maybe I would get a shot at a doe?
I then started texting all my buddies. I saw two more bucks and one mystery deer. I think the second buck was bigger but did not get a great look at it.
Finally 2 hours went by and I was tracking my deer. At first glance of the arrow, I was nervous. No blood but lots of hair. The arrow looked like it was covered in guts. I started zigzagging the way the buck went. Finally, I saw blood spots that turned into massive pools of solid blood. I went to where I last seen it. I was thinking I should see him any time now. Then the blood just stopped. Nothing! No spots or anything.
I did some circles, thinking he might have double backed but still nothing. I thought I might have got liver with the far back shot so I walked the creek that was 20 yards a way. There he was 30 yards lying in the river. I was stoked. He is my biggest state land buck. Turned out he did not bleed at all the last 40 yards he ran. I also got both lungs.
Today is the day that my Papa had left us. He was my biggest fan but not a hunter. Every time I would get home from a trip unsuccessful he would cheer for the deer. However, every time I shot a doe, he would volunteer to have it mounted. However, never took him up on that. A picture was good enough. Although he was not a hunter, something inside me tells me he sent me that buck. Maybe for missing the prime time of season last year. He was my biggest fan and I am sure he always wants the best for me whether he liked it or not. I had hunted this stand hard the past couple years . However, I did not expect an opportunity at a buck like that on November 5th.
Thank you for reading and good luck the rest of the season.