“Great day to be a bow hunter!” … “I’m so lucky to be a bow hunter!” … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mumbled those sayings over the last few weeks. But for whatever reason, as I get older I cherish the opportunity to climb a tree and participate in this sport I have loved for so many years. On the morning of October 27, I started my day out saying, “It feels like a good day to be a bow hunter!” And indeed it was!
With it being late October, I definitely wanted to focus in on sets with scrapes in and around the area. I went to a place I call the Park Oak. It’s the same set where I shot a 153 about three years ago with Aaron Bennett filming me following a long day in the rain. At first light, I looked around in areas where I had seen scrapes in the past. Limbs that once hung down low were broken and the ground ripped to shreds. This sight put a big smile on my face!
Shortly after, the first buck of the morning appeared. A 130 inch three year old eight-point came in and worked a scrape at thirty yards. From then until 8:30, we never had a single second where we could not see a buck somewhere around us. They seemed to be in the mood to not move far. They were working scrapes and checking does, but hung in the area all morning.
At 8:00, a new doe came flying through the draw just north of us. She ran right past a two year old who was just standing there. He immediately turned and looked on her back trail. For the next twenty minutes, the two year old stood there staring. I knew in my mind there must be a buck there, but didn’t know anything about him. Finally, the two year old sheepishly walked to the north. His body posture indicated to me he was fearful. Shortly thereafter, I heard the
distinct sound of antlers. I couldn’t tell if it was sparing or rubbing. All I knew is that it was close!
I looked up at cameraman Tim Young and confirmed it was definitely antlers rubbing. As he grabbed the camera, I pulled out the final prototype of the new MAD Hyper Growl. I started breathing intensely, hyper growling, growling, and snort wheezing – all in about a fifteen second sequence. I put the call away and grabbed my bow as I always do in anticipation of a buck’s approach. Seconds after grabbing my bow, and with the cameras still running, I looked up to see
a giant headed straight towards us from where the sounds of rubbing occurred. The buck walked in as if he was a year and half. He made his way through a wide-open lane from forty-five yards all the way to twenty-five. He turned to give me a dead broadside shot. I must have been a little nervous when I shot because I hit him a little back. The arrow was definitely in the ribs, but I was certain I hit liver.
We backed out, looked at the footage, and decided to wait. After the appropriate time we went back to track him, and I am glad we waited. The blood trail led to his first bed. We continued the trail to his second bed where we found the deer – and he was still warm.
This deer got the name “Treat” because I encountered him last year on Halloween morning before I killed Chiquita. I’m guessing him to be at least four and a half, but by all indications, he is likely five or older. Since last year, he blew from about 165 to 195 1/8! This is my largest typical whitetail ever, and ties my all time best.
Yup, sure was a great day to be a bow hunter. Good luck to everyone! The movement has started!