Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

1991 - my first buck

cotty16

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
I'm gonna begin with my first deer and progress to my first buck.

I began deer hunting when I was 12. I remember my first kill like it was yesterday. It was bitter cold that gun season in 1986. It was midweek. We had some action, but nothing to shoot at yet. My dad decided to walk out a place we call "The Bowl" that has produced several deer for us over the years. He put me on stand and walked around the bowl. I stood waiting for about 20 minutes, I knew when he was walking in because he would bang on a tree real loud with a stick. It would echo down the bottoms to me. It never failed... as soon as he'd bang that stick deer would bust out. I had three running from my left to my right on a dead sprint. No racks, but I didn't care. I followed all three with the open sighted Remington 20 guage 1100. I let the first go... then the second... then... POW! The third one dropped on a dead sprint. It was about a 50 yard shot and the deer lay there baahing like a sheep. Now, I didn't even know deer made noises other than snorting. I remember looking around and thinking, "What have I done? What is it doing?" Then, the worst part... the second doe turned around, came back and began nudging the fallen one to get up. I was crushed. I didn't know what to think and all I did was wait for my dad to finish the mini drive. As I stood there, the doe finally gave up and took off.
My dad appeared and asked if I got one. He knew it was me that shot. I pointed to the dead deer and he started patting me on the back. I gave a quick smile and told him what happened. Of course, he encouraged me that it was OK. We walked down to the deer and it was something that would make ol' Jackalope and Huck proud! A button buck :smiley_crocodile:
As a young kid, I wasn't sure what to think. I saw something that probably not many hunters ever had. Now, at my age, I could handle it. At 12? It was rough. I began to question if I wanted to hunt anymore. I guess I was a bit of a softy. :smiley_baby:

The next season had me shooting my first bow. I had decided after the show the deer put on for me the previous year I'd be buck only. We hunted the same bowl that year. I remember one encounter with a 6 point that was pretty comical. My dad and I were posted on a spoil bank with the bowl to our back and the field to our front. The 6 point walked at the bottom of the spoil in the field unaware we were sitting above him. I got my Darton bow ready and my dad whispers, "Aim on the 20 yard pin". ZING! Right over his back. The buck just stands there. I nock another arrow... "Try 15 yards"... ZING! Right under his belly. The buck jumped, turned and trotted a few yards and stopped looking the opposite way. I nock another arrow. "Try 20 again"... ZING! Over his back!!! Off he runs. :tantrum: I went down in the field and there was a perfect line of 3 arrows sticking in the ground.

Being buck only, it wasn't until 1991 at age 17 I was finally able to connect. The only killing of deer I had done since age 12 was finishing off an 8 point for a friend of my dad that hit it up the hollow during gun season. This time, it was mid November and the rut was in full swing. I was planning on sitting in the same bowl for the evening. We had been seeing some real nice bucks all summer in the fields. With football finally over I was ready to go! We head to the bowl and, bummer! Somebody was parked right where we park. We decide to go to plan B and hopped back in the truck to get to our other spot. On our way you could see the fields that lead to where we are going to sit. Out in the field is a bruiser trolling the treeline. We stop the truck and put the glasses on him. We get the direction he is going and we develop a plan.
My dad drives me on out the road and drops me at the end of this finger woods that widens toward where the buck is coming from. As it widens, it steeply goes up hill. I jump out of the truck and my dad drives off. He told me he was going to go back and sit and watch which way the deer is going in case I bump it.
I begin to walk the woods line slowly up the hill. I stop about halfway up and find a nice spot to kneel hoping to ambush this buck as it comes over the rise. As I'm kneeling I hear a faint grunt coming from in front of me. I hit my grunt call and he answers. I grunt... he grunts... each time the grunt gets closer. Now my heart is pounding! I have the arrow on, my fingers on the string, and the grunt call in my mouth. This buck wants a piece of me, but I can't see it. He is still over the rise.
I swear I've been there for hours, but it's probably been 30 minutes. Finally, I hear a twig snap... I see tips of horns coming right along the woods line emerging from the waist high weeds. I draw my bow... I don't even remember aiming. The buck, in what was an instant, pops up over the hill, spots me and turns to run. I let go... THUD! That's all I hear... then a snort... then running in the woods down the hill.

I stood there waiting. Again, I don't know what to do. Do I go look? No, wait on dad. My dad comes flying down the road. He comes up the hill to me and tells me he watched the whole thing in the binoculars. All I know is I heard my arrow hit something and he insists he saw the buck kick and run off "funny". He tells me to stay where I am and he's going to go where I think the buck was standing when I shot. When he gets there I yell, "Right there!" He looks at me and says, "That's at least 35 yards... up hill!"

Hell, I don't know. I didn't aim!!!

We start finding blood in the high weeds. It is pin drops. We track for awhile and decide to go home, get some dinner, and call his good buddy Mike. Some of you guys know his boy, Mike Jr. from Gameplan Gear. This guy can track anything. He comes over to the house with his lanterns, we grab ours, and back to spot we go.

The situation looked hopeless. We were finding very little blood if any. We looked for a good two hours and nothing. Mike was over the hill where I told him I heard the deer running. I'm up top on my hands and knees looking for blood. Mike yells out, "How nig did you say that deer was?" I yell back, "At least an 8!"
Mike then yells, "Well, I got an 8 laying here looking at me... could it be him?"
My first thought is, he's alive???? Then he says, "He's dead!"
Holy crap!!! I sprint down the hill and there he is! His head is wedged in a tree looking right up the hill at me... DEAD! I was so stoked!!! He was already stiff. That buck only ran about 50 yards and crashed. That must've been what I heard. There was blood everywhere where he was laying, but that thing didn't leave a very good trail.

I just couldn't believe how it all went down. 5 years before this I questioned if I wanted to hunt anymore and now, after an agonizing search, we found what ended up being my biggest buck for 19 years. From then on, I was a trophy hunter. The feeling I had after wrapping my hands around those antlers can't be described. He ended up netting 131 and got me one of those cool little Pope and Young certificates.

Everyone has a deer that got them hooked... this guy was it! The pics are in the next post. For some reason I never got pics with the button buck.

Since that deer, I've shot some nice bucks around 125 to 130, but it seemed I couldn't top it until 2010, but that's a different story.
 
Last edited:

cotty16

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
The night of the find.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1312341841.382883.jpg

The next day.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1312341831.249873.jpg

Today on my wall.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1312341849.789248.jpg
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,640
212
NW Ohio
That is a great story Mike! I especially love the pictures with the acid washed jeans bro! Classic!
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
46,816
249
Appalachia
Damn! Those pics scream 1980's!!! Oh wait, it was a new decade! Sorry Mike!!! rotflmao

Great read brother. Sounds like a great one for a campfire this fall down at Sandridge Outfitters!!! :smiley_clap:
 

finelyshedded

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
28,959
199
SW Ohio
Another great read! Thanks for sharing Mike!

Loved the part where your dad went to where the buck was standing when you shot him and says it must be 35 yards uphill! Your response was hilarious buddy!!! I felt like I was there with you guys. Congrats on a very nice buck, especially your first and a bowkill at that!
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,640
212
NW Ohio
Ric is going through deer season withdrawals again. Digging up posts not touched in 3.5yrs? Hang in there brother Ric. 4mo from deer season. You can do it.

Nice to read it again though. Great story Mike!
 

finelyshedded

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
28,959
199
SW Ohio
Ric, digging up an old one!

Ironically, you guys that are coming to the bow shoot will be camping where my dad watched this hunt unfold. The site is probably about 100 yards from the shot site. Great memories right there.

I'll be wanting to hear this story again with beers in hand at the shot site during this TOO function at some point! :smiley_clap:

This is gonna be a good time!