So I finally filled my buck tag this season. This is the first buck I’ve been fortunate enough to harvest that I’ve built a little history with. It started this past spring when I kept texting the property manager about coming out and looking for some sheds. He kept telling me it was fine if I want to come out but he was seeing antlered bucks daily. This kept going on until the middle of April when I was mushroom hunting and picked up a decent shed out of a bed. I found the shed on April 24th and it was not there the week prior.
The property I took this buck on is the epitome of a honey hole. No other hunters. No pressure. Super high deer numbers. A lot of quality bucks. I’ve hunted this spot for the last 3 Years but was always able to fill my buck tag elsewhere so I never really buck hunted that much there...mostly because I can’t really get on the property until December/January for landowner reasons.
So I start hunting there whenever I can and I’m almost always seeing good bucks. But it’s the worlds longest game of cat and mouse. I’m here, they’re over there, I move over there, now they’re walking through elsewhere. A week or so ago I had 3 big bucks and 13 does get hung up at 60 yards and wouldn’t come any closer. So I opted to go closer to where they got hung up and hunt that spot Tuesday and Wednesday this week because the wind would be blowing across a small swamp and I wouldn’t get winded. At about 4:30 Tuesday evening I see a nice buck cutting through the woods on the other side of the swamp from me. He’s not a giant but definite shooter for me at this point in the season. He starts milling around and a giant steps out beside him. He was a 9 pointer and one of those deer that his antlers make his body look small because he’s so massive. They go the other way. Big surprise.
I decide I’m gonna move over to where those bucks were for yesterday’s evening hunt. I find a nice straight basswood which I hate climbing but it’s the perfect setup. There’s a pine tree right next to the basswood and the top had broken off a little over 15’ high. I get climbed up and it’s like I’m sitting in a crows nest, completely concealed and in the absolute perfect spot. I don’t think I’d ever felt so confident in a spot. I even texted one of my buddies and told him I was willing to bet money that I’d kill a good buck that evening.
I’m settled in at 2:45 and not much is happening. I see a couple does work through but they move on which I wasn’t mad about because I didn’t want them around if I had to move at all. At 4:30 I’m hearing what I think is antlers clanking. 150 yards away in a thicket. I’m listening for a while and decide that it’s definitely bucks sparring and they’re kind of goin at it at this point. I caught some movement on the hillside and was able to get my Binos on them and see that there are two good bucks. I’m crossing my fingers that they work my way. 20 minutes after they stopped sparring I see a deer walking across way out in from on me. I pull up my binos, it’s a nice buck, the smaller of the two I had seen the previous evening...and he’s going right to where I had been sitting...not where I’m currently sitting. Story of my life. He walked 20 yards from my old spot and I’m cussing myself.
Then I catch more movement on the hill in front of me. What I though was a group of Does keeps getting closer and closer and it’s actually 6 bucks walking in a line and the 5th one in line is a shooter. They’re working diagonally towards my right and the wind starts swirling. Again, story of my life. They start to get weird and I start to panic. The big one turns around and is broadside, it’s now or never. I let the arrow fly. I heard the impact but didn’t know where I hit him. He ran up the hill, stopped, and started to stumble. It felt so good to finally get a good one down after hunting so hard for so long with no other opportunities.