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will submit the story later as I still got some cleaning up to do

and finally be back to an attached person...... this buck has

been eating me up this year! finally 4:45 tonight everything came

together and I said a quiet thanks for the memories just before

I shot.... both elated and really somber knowing I wont be able

to try and outwit this one anymore.

HPIM0569.jpg

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Man I can’t sleep! Set back and grab your favorite cold beverage as this is long J

The rest of the story……

A walk back in history of the season. I had this buck and 3 of his companions under my tree on oct. 15, what used to be the original first day of archery season. This year archery started on the 16th, I had a decent 10 point at 10 yards the first morning and due to brush I had no shot and actually I wasn’t real upset that I didn’t have a shot because I knew this big 8 was there also.

The weather, actually the wind the first week and a half was playing havok with me because we were having an abnormal amount of SW winds and that made most of my good stand sites unhuntable. I learned the hard way NOT to push your luck and the motto of forget the wind just hunt is NOT a motto to live by! While you can cut down greatly your scent you will NEVER be 100% scent free and some bucks only need 1 wiff and your all done!

I didn’t hunt my good sets the last week of Oct. so they would be good and fresh for the first week in Nov. when they should really be getting cranked up, I am a firm believer in don’t push it till the times right! I saw some good bucks week 1 November and was doing all day sets the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and all but an hour or so the 4th. On the 4th about 4:45 it was really raining and I had taken my arrow off the string when a doe and 2 little ones blew by me. I thought someone had gotten out of a stand and they spooked them but 5 minutes later that big 8 point walked right under me and all around me and I wouldn’t tempt fate in the rain.

I knew then and after that NOT taking the shot in the rain was the right choice but man it was eating me up inside!! I know that most times you may only ever get 1 good chance at 1 particular mature buck and I was trying to convince myself that he had no clue you were there and you will get to see him again! I was to leave for camp in Pa. the next day and the next morning it was pouring rain again so I didn’t hunt I just packed the truck and headed for Pa. at noontime. That whole trip I just kept replaying the previous nights hunt and wondered would he chase a doe off onto another property and get shot or worse yet get hit by a car like so many other bucks have met their demise…….

I was supposed to be in Pa most of a week, but Saturday morning I was on a very familiar ridge and as usual there were bucks there and I shot a nice 12 point after being in the tree 4 hours. Now it was decision time, I had some work at the farm to do but I just couldn’t get that NY buck out of my mind. Monday morning I caped out the 12 and did the butchering and closed up camp and came back to NY. Tuesday morning I was out and the first buck I saw was the big 8! I knew Wed & Thu were gone as I had work to do and the break wouldn’t do any harm.

Saturday evening I had him again at less than 10 yards but being burried in a hemlock and last light I just couldn’t see my pin and I certainly wasn’t going to just “center punch†him! Sunday am it was hard s/se winds and that would be the worst wind for my hot stand! So I took the morning “off†the evening hunt might be ok, after showering and starting to get ready the wind picked up, not going, wind died, weather channel said less than 5mph wind, I am going! Got all my stuff together and it starts sprinkling, that’s it take off the gear and don’t push it!

This morning I go outside at 4:30 and its dead calm! Showered got my gear together and off to the woods, slipped in nice as the leaves were nice and wet from the heavy showers last night, all settled in the stand and at 7:30 I hear a grey squirrel scolding a deer, I am intently pinpointed on the squirrel and movement! Antlers! NICE antlers! There he is! He walks north of me about 30 yards out then turns south and here he comes! I am fully thinking this is it!

He is walking head drooped, eyes about shut, just plain whooped from chasing all night!! He gets to 10 yards and no shot turns west stops in 1 opening…..BUT his entire chest is behind a beech tree and all I can see is from the last rib to the tail! He trashes a small beech tree! Takes 2 steps and is covered with beech brush on the vitals and he proceeds to make a scrape and licking branch and then does his urine deal. Walks 10 feet and literally plopped down, I mean standing on all 4 one second and crash on the ground! 20 yards down wind and lights out! Asleep!!

I couldn’t believe it, this buck is bedded 20 yards from me and no shot! Downwind and stone cold asleep! He slept for an hour till a young doe walked through and then he snapped awake and jumped up and chased her out of there and then slowly walked up the hill till he heard another buck grunting and chasing that young doe in the brush to my east and he was off to the races and all kinds of chasing as he was trying to run off that other buck.

I could only hunt till 10 because of a noontime appointment, with that done I was back in the shower and getting stuff ready, tonight it was my good luck 1983 Penn State shirt night! I took a very slow walk to the stand as it had warmed up and the leaves had dried quiet a bit so it was noisy. I got to my hemlock with no deer spooked, sprayed everything down again and I just “had†that feeling that this was going to be the night! I even sprayed the climbing stick as I was going up the 30 feet! I had that feeling all day and I paid extra care on my scent control.

It was WARM! I thought man I just cant catch a break! 2:00 nothing, 3:00 nothing, 4:00 nothing! Finally the sun got behind a western hill and you could feel the temp dropping! 4:30 I hear a deer to the northeast coming my way, 1 deer, he steps out and it’s a decent 8 point…..but its not him! He walks by @ 10 yards in the open I think to myself buddy if this was Friday you’d be in trouble! He mills around me for 5 minutes and then heads north into the grapevine thicket and finds a doe to chase around.

I hear a deer coming behind me and to the south of me, I watch the edge of the hemlocks and I see that little doe from this morning walking with her tail out and fluffed up…..good sign!!! She walks right under me and due west now! Uuuurrrrrrrppp directly behind me! I knew right then it was him, he had a very deep grunt and it was always very short and sharply ending! Then I see a wall of tines! Yes its him!

He stopped looked around because of all the chase noise and then walked behind a big beech tree and I eased to full draw as the kisser button found the spot and he stepped right into one of the few openings I have on that side of the stand and STOPPED broadside at 6 yards! I aint kidding my mind said “thanks for the memories sir†as the green pin was burning a hole through his lungs and the wasp tipped Easton was gone as I watched the orange and green fletching disappear right behind the shoulder.

He jumped ahead 10 feet and then just walked southwest, my first thought was I KNOW I saw that arrow go through his shoulder! Well he walked about 50 yards stopped looked around and fell over. It was finally done, so much work, so much time, all the practicing, all the stand work in placements, a 2 year game of chess was finally over. I sat down and thought about all the encounters with him, what he means to me, and how much I truly will miss seeing his footprints and hoping every time I check a camera will he be on it this time, I now know HE wont be. He will provide good table fare and will provide me with a great mount and a memory that will last my lifetime.

It was probably one of the most somber times I have ever walked up on a buck I had shot with the bow, so many close encounters, so many pictures, so many hours looking at him with the field glasses, I kinda knew what he had but didn’t “know†for certain….I said a quiet thank you as I finally picked up his head for the first time and realized he was all I had expected and then some, and he was HEAVY and minga he stunk!

This buck means more to me than any other deer I have shot and lord knows I have shot a pile of them. The start of the season last year I vowed that IF I were to get him it would be with my bow, all last archery season, gun season, muzzleloader season I hunted with the bow. 13 encounters with him last year and it was never “right†so I let him walk, man did I catch grief from some of my buddies! “you gotta kill him with a gun before someone else†“I would never think of carrying a bow in gun season“…. I told them I made a promise to myself that I would only take him with my bow and that’s what it would be or tag soup! I was fully prepared to eat the tag this year if need be but willpower, determination, preparation, and attention to detail all came together 4:45pm 11/15/10 in my favorite hemlock stand.

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thanks guys, man short night!! still in hunting mode and even though it was after

3am the last time I looked at the clock I was wide awake at 4:30, walked out

the door and wow what a morning! cool, clear, and calm with a storm coming in

tonight I think it would be a great hunt this morning!

I cant wait to get back out there with the bow saturday!

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That's a fine story! I'm glad that you finally got your chance with this guy and that you made it count.

I'm wishing I was out there right now...too many meetings this morning. Too many meetings in general lately.

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that was truly an awesome story! Thank you for sharing it and congratulations on a brute of an 8pt. I personally dont know if I would have been able to pass up the shot in the rain though but as they say "the best things come to those who wait".....

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  • 2 weeks later...

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